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NASCAR’s Biggest Race:The 2013 Daytona 500 Race This Sunday

Danica Patrick
Nick Laham, Getty Images

Sunday is a huge day for NASCAR fans as millions will be glued to their TV screens, hoping their favorite driver will win at the prestigious Daytona 500.  Think NASCAR fans are only guys?  Think again.Not many people know that I’ve been a pretty big NASCAR fan for a number of years.  While family duties have cut into my ability to follow racing as closely as I would like to, I still get excited about the start of new season of stockcar  racing, especially Sunday’s Daytona 500, the jewel in the NASCAR crown.  There are plenty of great stories about the upcoming season but I’ll only focus on some of them right now.

1)   Danica Patrick had the fastest car of anyone during qualifying and so she won the prestigious pole position for Sunday’s race.  She starts first Sunday of the 43 cars.  This is a big deal.  Why?  This is the first time a woman has won the pole in a NASCAR race.  This goes along with Danica’s highest race finish ever for a woman (fourth in Las Vegas a couple of years ago) and Danica’s highest points finish ever (tenth last year) for a woman.  That’s quite a resume for a driver with only two full NASCAR seasons under her belt.  It will be fun to follow NASCAR’s glamorous driver as she races full time in the sports highest level.

2)   I’ll be tracking my favorite driver, Carl Edwards in the #99 car.  I love his competitive fire and his compassionate nature.  He comes across as a guy with a great heart.  He is gracious to fans and media and has always been involved with really meaningful charities.   Plus, he’s a really talented driver.  Last year was a disappointment for Edwards and his legion of fans, but I’m betting he bounces back.  He’s young, he’s tough, he’s motivated and needs to prove that he hasn’t lost his edge.  Qualifying didn’t work too well for Edwards, so he’ll be deep in the pack to start Sunday.  #99, I’ll be cheering for you!

3)  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Need I say more?  North America’s most recognizable driver is on a upward trend after a concussion marred a strong run last year.

4)   Matt Kenseth,  2003’s champion starts fresh with a new team.  Does life begin after 40?  I think so.

5)   The cars are reconfigured.  They look great, the drivers seem happy with them but until they go racing with 43 cars over 500 miles, we just won’t know what the new car will turn out to be like.

If you’re new to NASCAR, take a look on Sunday.  I think you’ll like what you see!

Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images


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