Junior's late Daytona run has NASCAR crossing its fingers
SI.com's Cory McCartney takes a spin around the racing world for the most intriguing stories in and out of the garage.
• We can't begin to imagine just how much it would mean to NASCAR to have
But as much as watching Junior charge from 10th to second on the final green-white-checkered finish evoked a gutsy, reckless abandonment reserved for weaving your way through traffic in Grand Theft Auto, it shouldn't be enough to fully claim that Little E is back to his 2003-04 form. Overall, he had an unquestionably great Speedweeks, as he claimed the outside pole for the 500 and finished second in the race, but can we just leave it at that? The Daytona showing was clearly what
Along with America being swept up in Danicamania, there really isn't a more alluring storyline for the sport than having Dale Jr. in Victory Lane (which is a sad indictment of fans' feelings for J.J.'s dominance) ... but let's take a deep breath until after Fontana, where he has an average finish of 22.1, Las Vegas (17.8 average) and Atlanta (one top five in the last six races). If he's still running as well as he did at Daytona in four weeks, then it will be time to start supplying members of Junior Nation with paper bags to breathe into to control their convulsing. I'm buying.
• As long as we're on the topic of sweeping generalizations from Daytona, here's one:
The sharing of technology between Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports delivered Roush three top 10s with
As much as this was a boon for RPM, which has looked like a complete mess of late and could still lose the free-agent to be Kahne regardless of what happens this season, it's an even bigger boost for Roush Fenway. It won the first two races last year with Kenseth, only to fade as it found Victory Lane once more with a driver who's no longer on team in 500 winner
Now that the Great American Event is in the books, it's time for our first true test of the 2010 season. The safe pick would be Johnson, who has won three of the last six trips to L.A. and has finished no worse than ninth in that span. But I'm going with Edwards, whose average finish of 6.6 in 10 starts at the track is second only to J.J.'s 5.8 In 11 starts, Edwards has 10 finishes of seventh or better, including a win in '08. For a driver badly in need of a return to Victory Lane after last season's debacle, Fontana is the perfect remedy.
Before the Daytona 500, the title of Best Known Pothole clearly belonged to the one from the