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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now we’ll find out who’s really good

Speedweeks and Daytona are like that really good appetizer that you eat so much of, you forget that you actually came for the main course.

The restrictor plate action, while scary at times, is fast and furious, and barring a weather snafu, fans come out of Speedweeks with a smile on their face.

What’s easy to forget is this -- Daytona means absolutely nothing as far as who will be successful in 2009. Remember last year, when the Penske cars of Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman ran 1-2 at Daytona? Now, remember how the rest of their year went?


This year, that meaninglessness is exaggerated by the weather ending the race early. Not only is there the usual situation of restrictor plate racing not telling us anything about who will be good at California, Vegas and beyond, but the finishing order is so jumbled up because of the weather that it’s possible nobody who is currently in the top 12 will be around come Chase time. The points are going to be scrambled so much over the next month or so it’s going to be dizzying.

The flashy kickoff is over, and now it’s time for the stories that drive this sport to play out.
Tony Stewart was great as usual at Daytona, but can his new cars compete on the non-plate tracks, or will he struggle? Will Mark Martin really be able to compete with the young stars at age 50? Is Joey Logano up to the task of Cup racing?

When looking for answers to those questions, throw away your Daytona notes, as those questions will begin to be answered this week.


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