Start Your Engines - Daytona 500 and the Gen6 Car

2/20/13 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - Start Your Engines - Daytona 500 and the Gen6 CarWelcome back for the second edition of "Start Your Engines".  For this edition we will have a closer look at what the four of us expect for the rest of this week and the big race on Sunday, the Daytona 500.  We'll try to figure out what to expect, from the new Gen6 car.

I am joined once again, by our creator, Eric (gearhead), our resident statistician, Scott, and another passionate fan, Jen (JenX63).  The four of us will try to answer some questions I figure some of you might have about the new car and the coming events.

Without further ado, let's get started.

1.  If you watched the Sprint Unlimited, what did you think?  Did we see enough to really judge the new car?

 I watched and really did not get any notions one way or the other. I think I need to see the cars on all the different tracks. Did anyone else notice the bumpers no longer match up, with the manufacturers getting their little stamps, I noticed it during the shoot out.

Eric:  I can't say that I did watch the race. I will say as a general comment on the new car that it's probably a good thing. When your series is for all intents and purposes spec, you have to keep evolving the car you use. Whatever the reasons the Car of Tomorrow was replaced, new car designs every five years ago is usually a good thing. Go much longer than that with one car and it gets old and stale. That is what happened with IndyCar, and why its fans were so happy to see the DW12.

Scott:  I watched bits and pieces of it while I was bartending and to be honest, I wasn't a huge fan.  The drivers seemed a bit too tenative in trying to figure out the combination of Gen 6, a clean track and the cooler weather and more times then not, it was nothing but single file racing with not many drivers taking any chances to pass.

Debi:  I have to agree with you, Scott.  They did seem really tentative to me as well.   In fact, Tony caused the early wreck, and owned up to it, but it did seem like he was the only one driving "normally", rather than the "aggressively" that others thought.  
Blog Photo - Start Your Engines - Daytona 500 and the Gen6 Car
2.  Is this so-called blind spot going to come into play, or can NASCAR approve a mirror that will take care of it before the big race?
Jen:    I have heard several folks say, there is no blind spot, that the area just to the left of the drivers is actually much clearer now, the drivers just need to get used to it.  I think every car has a blind spot, why would a race car be any different. Of course, going 200 mph, it's prolly a blur. 

Eric:  Before I answer this, can someone help me out and explain what kind of blind spot we're talking about? Either way, that doesn't sound very good.

Debi:  LOL Okay, Eric.  The first I'd heard of it was after the incident with Matt Kenseth.  Apparently, somewhere in his interviews after the fact, it was said that he hadn't seen anything, and he thought there must be some kind of blind spot.  I don't know if it was a cop out, or an excuse, or what, but I saw it a few times.

Scott: I'm with Eric on this one.  What blind spot are we exactly talking about?

Debi:  *sigh* okay guys, I guess it is just a figment of their imagination.  I did read that Kevin Harvick was wanting to have some customized mirrors installed in his car though, and have them approved before the  500.

Eric: Well, whatever it is, it sounds like it'll be up to the spotters to earn their money.

Jen:   Dillner said there really isn't a blind spot (which i think is stupid to say) because every vehicle has them and in racing, exactly what are the spotters duties? To inform about cautions, side by side if their driver wants to move up or down the track (blind spot), accidents ahead of them. I have looked at both cars (this years and last years) and saw a minute difference. I don't think the drivers have "more" clearance, but I could be wrong. I am not in a car. Tony was just being aggressive, but thought he could parlay Kenseth's boo boo to help his cause. Watching Matt since he was in Nationwide, it just isn't his style to intentionally wreck another driver. Matt and his spotter are new to each other, there are going to be hiccups, hopefully not bad ones.
Blog Photo - Start Your Engines - Daytona 500 and the Gen6 Car
3.  It's early going, of course, but Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards were both knocked out in the first segment wreck of the Unlimited.  Is this a glimpse of their season?  Or can either one of them rebound after both had such a crappy season last year?

Scott:   I expect Jeff Gordon to be a bit more competitive this season.  As for Carl Edwards, I'm anxious to see how the whole Ford stable does now the Matt Kenseth has moved on to Joe Gibbs Racing.  I always thought Kenseth was the "brains" of the outfit and with him gone, Edwards and Greg Biffle will Ricky Stenhouse as the 3rd wheel.  It should be an interesting year for Jack Roush.

Eric:  Plate racing is so much different than everything else that I don't particularly put much stock in how it fortells the rest of the season, especially a race that doesn't actually count for anything. Gordon seemed fine putting it on the front row Sunday afternoon.

Jen:  lol, ok, not funny really...nope, actually need a few more races, you know, like 15 at least.

Debi:  I like to think you can actually tell as soon as they hit the track at Daytona, but I have to go with Scott, again.  I am happy to see Jeff walking with a little more bounce to his step this year.  As for Edwards, I think he had a peak season a couple of years ago when he fought neck and neck with Tony Stewart.  It almost seems as if that second place finish defeated him a little.
We have a few more questions over on page 2..............
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2/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32904 respect

You know what I looove? The "he was fastest in practice". As we all know, that usually does not translate into a win. One more day...still think Kevin has a very good chance, of course, he has to stay out of trouble, miss "the big one", make some smart choices on pit road, and cross the finish line first.

2/22/13   |   JenX63   |   32904 respect

Happy breaking some records and winning the 500.

Dark Horse: Matt Kenseth. This dude has grown on me and I absolutely love him. He is in a new ride and I hope to see him do well this year.

2/20/13   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

HAt! I don't think we are delusional either, but you never know....

2/20/13   |   JenX63   |   32904 respect

Ha! We are not delusional. I do think as I mentioned to you, our answers seem to flow along the same lines, which is weird to me since we all are very different personalities. Looking forward to tomorrow and this weekend!