LEMASTERS: Daytona 500 Won’t Be Boring


What do we know about Speedweeks 2011?

For one thing, it’s not going to be boring.

NASCAR has already tweaked the plate size after last month’s test, and has now cut the intake openings to eliminate the two-car trains that we saw Saturday night.

What’s next, removing a body panel to slow them down further?

They won’t, because it would be unsightly and the sponsors would have to redo their decals (the real reason!), but NASCAR is dead-set on getting rid of the two-car draft. It was like Top Gun with wheels instead of wings. “I can’t…leave…my wingman,” was the call of the day.

So where does that leave us heading into the first and biggest weekend in NASCAR?

Hello, Big Wad ’o Cars, won’t you come on in?

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any two-car deals on Thursday. It means they’ll last a lap or two before the pusher has to get out of line and cool off before the engine becomes less a finely tuned machine and more of a hunk of molten metal.

I would tell you this: it means that when there’s 10 to go, they’ll pair up and charge. With five to go the pushers will be the pushees, and there’s going to be a general all-skate for the finish line.

That’s the way I see it, and if it turns out not to be true, then…you won’t remember by the time Phoenix gets the green flag. I hope…

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! No matter where your heart is, have fun and enjoy your day!