10 Bold Predictions for the 2013 Daytona 500

Chad Robb@@MrFantasyNASCARCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2013

10 Bold Predictions for the 2013 Daytona 500

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    The Daytona 500 has become one of the most exciting races in motorsports because anything can happen in the Great American Race.

    Throughout the 55-year history of the race, the unexpected has become the norm. Cinderella has found Victory Lane, when Trevor Bayne came out of nowhere to win the race. Juan Pablo Montoya set the racetrack on fire when he ran into a jet dryer and Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s legacy came to a tragic end in 2001.

    The 2013 Daytona 500 is only weeks away and some unexpected events will occur. Here is a list of 10 bold predictions for the 2013 Daytona 500…

Something Bizarre Will Happen

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    Crazy things happen in NASCAR and the craziest of events always seem to occur on the sport’s grandest stage…the Daytona 500.

    In 2010, the Daytona 500 was delayed twice because of a pothole in the racetrack.

    Potholes on the streets in your town may be normal, but there should not be a pothole during the Super Bowl of NASCAR. NASCAR fixed the racetrack and Jamie McMurray went on to win the race.

    Just when you thought you seen it all, Juan Pablo Montoya did the unthinkable.

    In last year’s Daytona 500 Montoya ran into a jet dryer under the caution flag, causing a massive fireball which burned a hole in the racetrack.

    Once again the race was delayed for another bizarre event.

    So, what bizarre event will happen this year?

    My prediction is that there will be a massive wreck on the first lap taking out all but four cars in the race. Fans will be left to watch Josh Wise, J.J. Yeley, Travis Kvapil and Joe Nemechek race for the checkered flag. Go Joe!

    Bizarre things always happen at Daytona. This year will be no exception.

Danica Patrick Will Wreck Her Boyfriend

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    Think about how upset your significant other gets when you forget to pick up something from the store, or you forget their birthday.

    Now imagine how upset it would make your significant other if you wrecked their car going 190 mph in the biggest race of their career. Pretty upset, I would imagine.

    Danica Patrick revealed at media week in Daytona that she is dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

    Stenhouse; driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford is a rival of Patrick, who drives the No. 10 Stewart Haas Chevy.

    My prediction is that Patrick will lose control of her car during the Daytona 500 and take out her boyfriend. This will make for a great interview after the wreck.

Less Than Half the Field Will Finish

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    The one constant with restrictor plate racing is that each race has at least one wreck involving multiple drivers.

    The four restrictor plate races last season were filled with wrecks. None of the races finished with more than half the field on the lead lap. In both of the races at Daytona, 22 drivers out of the 43 that started finished on the lead lap.

    My prediction is that the new Generation-6 car will make the wrecks more frequent in the Daytona 500. By the end of the race, there will be fewer than 20 cars left on the racetrack. This will be the hot topic until the cars line up the next week at Phoenix International Raceway.  

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Starts Last and Leads Most Laps

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been one of the best drivers at Daytona. He has 14 top 10 finishes at Daytona with two wins.

    This year Earnhardt will show up to the racetrack with the best car. He will qualify in the top five and win the Gatorade Duel race. During Happy Hour practice, he will wreck his car, forcing him to start the Daytona 500 at the back of the field.

    Qualifying does not mean much on superspeedways. Some drivers go to the back of the field on purpose to avoid the wrecks up front.

    Earnhardt will drive his car from the back of the pack to the front and spend most of his day leading the Daytona 500. He will not win the race, but he will push the car that does.

Sprint Cup Champion Will Struggle

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    The defending Sprint Cup Champion has not won the Daytona 500 since Dale Jarrett did it in 2000. The streak will continue this year as Brad Keselowski will fail to back up his championship with a Daytona 500 win.

    Keselowski’s best finish at Daytona came last year in the Coke Zero 400. Keselowski finished the race No. 8. Before that race, Keselowski never had a finish at Daytona inside the top 15.

    Keselowski will have a good season in 2013, but it will not start at Daytona.

Chevy’s Will Dominate

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    It seems as though each year, one manufacture shows up at Daytona with better equipment than the competition. Last year, the Fords were the class of the field. They seemed to have more horsepower than the rest of the cars in the race. That led to Matt Kenseth’s second Daytona 500 victory.

    In 2007, NASCAR made the change to the Car of Tomorrow and Hendrick Motorsports was the first team to figure out how to get speed out of the car. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon won seven of the first 11 races.

    Chevy will once again dominate the Daytona 500.

Rain Will Postpone the Race

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    Last year, the Daytona 500 was postponed for the first time because of rain. This year it will be two years in a row.

    While most of the country has been stuck in a drought, the Daytona 500 will be stuck in rain. As much as NASCAR would like to expand their brand to the casual fan, the postponement of their top race will continue to set the sport back.

    Look for Monday, Feb. 25, to be a popular sick day for many NASCAR fans.

Jimmie Johnson Will Finish Last

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    If Jimmie Johnson is Superman, Daytona is his kryptonite.

    Johnson is a past Daytona 500 winner, but recently he has been horrible at Daytona.

    Johnson has not finished a race at Daytona inside the top 20 since 2009. Last year, Johnson was the first car caught up in a wreck and finished the Daytona 500 at No. 42.

    Johnson may start the race near the front, but once again he will be the first car in the garage.

Brad Keselowski Tweets under Green

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    Last season, Brad Keselowski made headlines when he sent a tweet from his car while under caution. NASCAR fined Keselowski $25,000 for tweeting during the race. Keselowski did not seem to care as he gained many new followers because of his in-car tweet.

    Keselowski will take it a step further this year during the Daytona 500. Keselowski will become the first driver to send a tweet while driving the car.

    Daytona is one of the easiest racetracks for a driver. Keselowski will be able to ride in the back of the pack and send his tweet to his followers.

    He will make NASCAR furious and headlines at the same time.

Tony Stewart Will Win

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    Tony Stewart has won at Daytona 18 times in his career, but he has failed to win the Daytona 500.

    Stewart’s career at Daytona is starting to resemble what Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s career was at the racetrack. Earnhardt won 33 races (including nonpoint races), before he won his first Daytona 500 in 1998.

    Bad luck and the lack of help from other drivers have prevented Stewart from winning the Daytona 500.

    This year Stewart will figure out a way to end up in Victory Lane at Daytona. This time he will be holding The Harley J. Earl Trophy.

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