Each season, the crown jewel on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is the season-opening event, the Daytona 500. This is the sport's biggest race and the one that all of the competitors want to win the most.
As soon as the checkered flag waves at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, the countdown to the following February and the new season begins.
With each new season comes the opportunity to see new stars emerge, new rivalries formed and the overall excitement of 36 weeks of racing. The Daytona 500 is always the first chance at delivering a great race.
Sometimes, the Great American Race is worth the three-month, wait while other times, the action is minimal and it feels like a letdown.
The last 10 years are a perfect example of this. There have been some nail-biting finishes, but there have also been a few less-than-memorable events.
In the following slides, I will look back at the Daytona 500 races from each of the last 10 seasons and rank them from least entertaining all the way to the one that could be watched time and again.
In general, the main criteria for getting ranked near the top of the list is an exciting or dramatic finish. Unless something extraordinary or memorable takes place in the early stages of a race, the final handful of laps are what determines the overall quality of the event.