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Pregaming for the 2014 Daytona 500 Part 3: Bouncing Back

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Quite a few odd things happened last year resulting in several stars in this sport to have an off season. Between injuries and penalties several drivers would like to forget that 2013 actually happened and hot start would sure help make that happen.



There was no down year for Austin Dillon last year seeing as to how he won the Nationwide Series championship. But that #3 Cup car has had plenty of down years since the passing of Earnhardt. Now it’s back in action although I’m not sure why. I don’t know why anyone would want to drive that machine simply for the added pressure. Especially since Dillon is a rookie in the Cup series and already has enough on his plate.


Last year was certainly a down year for this racing team, but they have responded exceptionally well on paper. Ryan Newman struggled to be consistently competitive one year ago and has since been replaced by Kevin Harvick who was one of just three drivers with a shot at winning the championship at Homestead. Then they created a fourth team and added former Cup champion Kurt Busch who was riding around in the #78 on a one car team. Despite not having any on track teammates he managed to drive his way into the Chase, finishing 10th.

Now with Danica having a year’s experience and Tony Stewart back from injury this team should be all around better and could have three drivers with a shot to bring home the championship at Homestead. They should provide the biggest challenge to Jimmie Johnson and the rest of Hendrick Motorsports this season.

Denny Hamlin

Denny is back and seems to be on a mission. He has won the last three times he has been on track. Unfortunately none of those count towards this years championship standings, but there is no questioning his health anymore. He wants to get back to competing for a championship and he seems to be headed in that direction.

Brad Keselowski

Brad certainly had a bit of a hangover season in 2013. After winning the Cup championship in 2012 Brad failed to make the Chase and didn’t reach victory lane until the October race in Charlotte. He started off the season riding his championship momentum with seven top 10 finishes in the first eight races but then the wheels fell off. After that he only recorded one top 10 in the next 10 races. He was penalized twice over the course of the year for a total of 31 points and had his crew chief Paul Wolfe suspended for a few races. It was a really frustrating season for the blue deuce but they seem poised to overcome last year’s struggles and get back in position to win another championship.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

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