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When it comes to Daytona and Talladega, the "big one" is that one caution that involves numerous cars. One driver gets a little out of control, and as a result, a melee ensues that involves numerous cars.
I feel confident that it will not happen, for two reasons. The first is simple, this is the Daytona 500. I know that some people would think that for the chance to win the season's biggest race, drivers would be more willing to be aggressive, thus resulting in a silly move that causes a big pileup, but I don't see it happening.
While everyone wants to win this race, everyone also wants to finish this race. Simply put, if you aren't running at the finish, you can't win, so why put yourself, and the rest of the field in that situation? The big one never happened in 2010, and there is no reason to think it will in 2011 either. I think this will end up being a calm race, caution wise.
The second reason, is that after the recent testing at Daytona, many drivers are comparing the way the track drives now, to Talladega. And when you look at Talladega last year, depending on your definition of the "big one," it never happened.
In the spring there were two cautions that involved about seven cars each, but let's be honest, at Talladega or Daytona, that has to be considered a small crash. In the fall, there was no incidents of any magnitude until the final lap, that brought the race to an abrupt finish.
So, quite frankly, I just don't see the big one happening, and as a fan of racing, not crashing, I hope that I am right.