2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Daytona International Speedway

Pepsi 400

The Last Restrictor Plate Race

This week the Cup circuit heads to Daytona for the 3rd restrictor plate race of the season. This will be the last restrictor plate race for the old car, as the COT will debut at Talladega later this year.

My Pick To Win Daytona

My pick to win this weekend is Jeff Gordon. Jeff has been very dominant all season and always has a good car at Daytona. He won back to back at Daytona in 2004 and 2005.

Daytona Front Runners

Jimmie Johnson should have a car just as stout as Jeff’s this weekend and he won the Daytona 500 last season. Jimmie won without Chad Knauss who was suspended before the race and both Johnson and Gordon will be without their regular crew chiefs for another month. This didn’t seem to bother either team at Loudon last week and definitely shouldn’t be a factor at Daytona.

Kevin Harvick won the Daytona 500 for the first time this season and always has good restrictor plate cars. Over the last few seasons the Childress, Hendrick and DEI cars have been the class of the field on the restrictor plate tracks. Kevin seems to run a little better at Talladega then at Daytona but he proved what he could do at Daytona when he came from nowhere to beat Mark Martin to the line.

Mark Martin hates restrictor plate racing because of the potential for the “big one”. I think he is a little happier this season with the Hendrick engines under his hood. If he can stay towards the front and avoid the big wreck that is bound to happen he might find himself in contention for the win at the end.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is phenomenal on restrictor plate tracks. I can just about guarantee that the DEI cars will qualify back in the 30’s but when it comes to race time they run well in the draft. It never takes Dale or Martin Truex Jr. long to get to the front of the pack once the race starts and if they avoid issues late in the race they are sure to give everyone else a run for their money.

Tony Stewart has won the last 2 races at Daytona in July. Tony likes to race under the lights and wants to have a great showing this weekend so that he can forget finishing 43rd during the 500 in February when he lost an engine early in the race. The last time Tony finished last in the Daytona 500 he won the championship that year.

Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray always seem to be good at the start of the races at Daytona but fade at the end. I’m not sure if it is horsepower, handling or drafting that causes this but they just can’t seem to get that push at the end and it seems like it takes these cars longer to get up to speed on restarts.

Kurt Busch has been very good at the restrictor plate tracks lately and seems like the only Dodge fighting for the win at the end of these races. Kurt has a 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finish in his last 6 races at Daytona. I predict Kurt will get a restrictor plate win very soon.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Jeff Gordon (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Mark Martin (starter)
  • Martin Truex Jr (starter)
  • David Gilliland
  • Ricky Rudd

Group C

  • Paul Menard(starter)
  • David Ragan

Dark Horse

  • Mike Wallace

Stay Away From

  • Kasey Kahne