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Can the Top Guys Recover Quickly from Their Bad Week at Daytona?
Last week's race at Daytona was, to put it nicely, a mess. It was shortened by rain and mostly notable for two big wrecks that took out the biggest names in the sport.
David Caraviello of NASCAR.com summed up the race:
Track officials may have fired off their huge July 4 weekend fireworks show Saturday night after the Coke Zero 400 was postponed by rain, but there were plenty of blow-ups in Sunday's rescheduled event, and all of them were on the asphalt. Frenzied competition at the front of the pack resulted in a 16-car melee early on, which only served as an appetizer to the massive 26-car pileup that reshuffled the field before Aric Almirola's rain-shortened victory.
Drivers such as Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth were all negatively affected—or taken out altogether—by the wrecks. They will be looking for a strong finish at New Hampshire to make up for lost points.
Can Danica Patrick Carry Over Her Daytona Momentum?
One of the people who benefited heavily from the wreckage at Daytona was Danica Patrick, who ended up finishing eighth. One of the most popular drivers on the circuit, all eyes will be on Patrick to see if she can back that up this Sunday.
Jeff Olson from USA Today reported on Patrick's excitement in Daytona after her second top-10 finish of the season:
The car was fast. It has just been a matter of attrition and getting a little lucky and making it through things. We were in two crashes and the car has been OK to keep going, which is hard to do here at Daytona because the splitter height is so critical.
Will Anyone New Qualify for the Chase?
This might sound familiar from my past previews, but as the season goes on and the Chase heats up, this topic is not going away.
There are 11 spots already filled in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. That means there are five spots available and only eight races left to clinch a spot. Drivers such as Stewart, Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle are still looking to get a win this season and secure their spot in the postseason.