This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
We're set to begin another season of NASCAR racing, and to get things started we head to the historic Daytona International Speedway for the season opener. The Daytona 500, also known as the Great American Race, kicks off each NASCAR Cup Series season and is by far the most prestigious event in the sport. The Daytona 500 is on par with the NFL's Super Bowl or Major League Baseball's World Series. It's unique in the fact that it opens the racing season rather than ends it. No other major sport can make that same claim. All eyes in the motorsports world will be focused on Daytona this weekend, because the winner of this race is not only making history, but he's also setting the pace for the season to come.
If there's one thing that we can count on with Speedweeks at Daytona, its lots of practice laps. With all the exhibition and qualifying races, the drivers really get to know what they can and can't do with their cars over the week of events. Once the drivers get familiar with the aero package and handling of their cars, we should see lots of three-wide, big pack racing in this season's Daytona 500. When we get down to the final 10 laps and crunch time, it will be interesting to see how the drivers mix it up looking for that perfect drafting partner. Pushing and bump drafting are out of the question, so we'll see some precariously close drafting, side-drafting