Sunday, 27 November 2022

2020 Daytona 500: Storylines to watch

Posted On Sunday, 16 February 2020 13:28 Written by
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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2020. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2020. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Greetings race fans. It's Daytona 500 day.
When the green flag drops at 3:18 p.m. today at Daytona, here are some storylines to watch. 

Team alliances
How much will teams work together, if situations on track allow for them to do so? I foresee this being a major strategy, once again, for Chevy, Ford and Toyota. But history has shown the best plans usually are interrupted by the reality of plate racing. Those alliances usually don’t last, especially after cars get knocked out after big wrecks. We’ll see how this plays out and how much it determines the outcome of the race.

Blocking
Brad Keselowski and others have expressed concern about blocking and the major wrecks it is causing this Speedweeks. How much will drivers take that into account when they are making decisions as they battle for the lead and through the field? Hopefullly cooler heads will prevail, but when chasing the checkered flag common sense often goes out the window. We’ll learn this afternoon which side wins out.

Who will win?
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is my pick to win the Daytona 500, in his first race with JTG Daugherty. He seems more comfortable this year than most of the other competitors and people will partner with him because of that. My dark horse pick is Matt DiBenedetto in the Wood Brothers ride, or Bubba Wallace in the 43 car (Best case scenario, the 21 and 43 battle for the win, just like the old days). 

And the politics …
I’ll be short and sweet with this one … I’m not a fan of the 2020 Election campaign coming to Daytona. I just want to watch a race. I know everyone in the sport has to be gracious and accept that the occupant of the Oval Office is making a visit and be welcoming, but I would bet most fans of the sport would prefer to skip this dog-and-pony show, which adds nothing to the festivities today. 

— Matt Myftiu can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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