Top Ten Tuesday: Daytona Storylines
This year's Daytona 500 certainly didn't lack in storylines. While it lacked the type of chaos we're used to seeing in regards to crashes, it made up for with some of the best side-by-side-by-side racing in recent memory. The skill level of today's driver is off the charts, and the 2015 season could truly be one for the record books.
So what was the biggest storyline coming out of Daytona Speedweeks? Was it the Busch brothers, perhaps Jeff Gordon or how about Joey Logano's win?
Here's a list of the top-10 storylines coming out of last Sunday's Daytona 500:
- Jeff Gordon's New Approach - Certainly age has tamed Jeff Gordon a bit over the years, but the veteran driver's post-race interview spoke volumes of what this season means to him. "I should be mad, but I'm not," said Gordon, who led a race-high 87 laps only to finish in 33rd-place. Time will tell whether this new approach pays off for one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, who wants nothing more than to go out as a champion.
- Kyle Busch Goes Down - One of the most polarizing drivers in all of NASCAR, Kyle Busch's season got off to a horrible start after a scary wreck in Saturday's XFINITY Series race. Busch crashed hard into the inside wall and is now out for at least 3-4 months, if not half the season. Love him or hate him, he's a helluva driver that runs as much as he can through all of NASCAR's top-three series. This is a big loss for the sport - hands down.
- Joey Logano Wins Daytona 500 - Given the breakout season he had last year, Logano's win the Daytona 500 wasn't as shocking as it might have been a year ago. In fact, dating back to last year, Logano has won three of the last nine Sprint Cup Series races and has been one of the most consistent top-five/top-10 pilots all around. It's finally safe to say that Logano has shed the crusty criticism that made him throwaway toast for the first six seasons. No, this Sliced Bread is ready eat.
- Under Caution - The end of the Daytona 500 has fallen under much scrutiny in the past 24+ hours. The question remains, should races always end under green or is the Green-White-Checkered system in place now working? Many were calling for no caution during the late final-lap, multi-car wreck that came well behind the leaders. But the reality is that no one was going to catch Logano and the safety of the crashing drivers had to be the primary concern of officials.
- Championship Hangover? - Anyone wondering if Kevin Harvick's championship season was a single-season fluke got their answer on Sunday. Harvick sat idle for much of the race, biding his time to pounce and nearly pulled it off. It's not likely he was going to catch Logano, but a runner-up finish to start the season certainly keeps naysayers at bay. Now we'll see if he can continue his magic with the new rules package coming into effect this week at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
- Three-Wide Madness - What a race. Plain and simple, that was some of the best three-wide racing NASCAR has seen in years. Seven or eight rows deep, the best in the business battled side-by-side for the last 20+ laps without a single big crash. It wasn't until the final lap that the caution came out for a big spill, and it happened with a big group further back from the leaders. If this is what is to be expected for the remainder of this season, it's going to be an awesome 2015.
- Wake-Up Call for Daytona - This one is pretty simple. Just fix the problem. Kyle Busch's crash into the inside wall on Saturday was a wake-up call for Daytona International Speedway. SAFER Barriers need to be a standard through the sport and Saturday should serve as the perfect reason to move forward at track's across the country..
- Qualifying Disaster - Maybe the new qualifying format at superspeedway's needs to be revisited because last Sunday (Feb. 15) was a disaster.
- Kurt Busch Suspended - It's a tough situation, but NASCAR had to do what it thought was the right thing regarding Kurt Busch's off-track situation. Delving further into it isn't necessary; rather it's a downright shame to have an elite talent like Kurt on the sidelines. Hopefully this can get fixed, one way or another, very quickly, as he was sorely missed Sunday and will be for the foreseeable future..
- Manufacturer Depth - Ford came out on top overall, winning Friday's Camping World Truck Series, Saturday's XFINITY Series and Sunday's Sprint Cup Series races. But all three major manufacturers had solid 2015 debuts, with Chevrolet winning the Budweiser Duels and Toyota winning the the Sprint Unlimited.