Cars will be on the track this week for Daytona! Lot of new drivers, rules and stories.
The Daytona 500 will be Danica Patrick's final cup race driving the #7 for Premium Motorsports with engines and chassis from RCR.
Bubba Wallace will become the first full-time african american race car driver in cup since Danville native Wendell Scott in 1971. He will pilot the famous 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Hendrick now only has 1 driver who has won a Cup race: Jimmie Johnson. Alex Bowman(88), Chase Elliott(9), and William Byron(24) will look to break into victory lane this year.
Will Truex Jr be able to maintain his dominance on 1.5 mi tracks after losing a team car?
I will be interested to see the driver changes of Kasey Kahne to the #95, Ryan Blaney left to Wood Brothers to drive for the new Penske #12, and Paul Menard is now in the #21 after leaving RCR. I'll also be interested to see how Aric Almirola does driving the #10 the Danica was in and if he performs better than he did in the 43.
Chevy has a new body that has proven fast in preseason testing. They will race a Camaro body in cup this year. Ford now has the oldest body in cup.
Pit crews are now limited to 5 guys over the wall. You will likely see 2 tire changers, jack man, gas man, and only 1 tire carrier. This is a safety and cost cutting rule. NASCAR is also going to a spec air gun as a cost savings move and a competition rule. Teams have spent millions developing air guns. Joe Gibbs Racing is notoriously known for exploiting this area.
The teams will be limited to the number of people they can have perform work on the car. This is both a cost cutting rule and a competition rule. Each teamís crew members can only work on their own car and not another from the same organization unless that crew member is listed on the roster for both teams -- a crew member from the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team cannot help the No. 24 team unless they are listed on both organizational depth charts.
The cars themselves aren't being changed that much. Teams are going to a spec radiator, splitter, and oil cooler. This is all considered a cost savings implementation as teams have literally spent millions of dollars developing these areas of the cars. This will also remove downforce from the cars and give Goodyear more flexibility on the tire they bring to the track.
Teams will be required to run 13 engines for 2 weekends next year. The engines will be sealed meaning they aren't allowed to be torn down. Teams are allowed to change valve springs and cylinder heads. Must use the same engine block, crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, pistons, and oil pan for each of the 2 races the engine is used. Also, teams will run a single engine the whole weekend at Daytona coming up. That will put close to 700 miles on the engine. It will be interesting to see if we have any engine failures as teams try to build up reliability for this rule. All-Star Race must be an engine used previously in the year with NO modifications. If your car wins, that counts as 1 of your 13 engines since the winner's engine is normally torn down. Teams can pick the races they want to use the 2nd engine at. A team must use a previously raced engine for 25 percent of a race for it to count toward its 13 second-race engines.