Today’s Season Preview Topic: After the success of Juan Pablo Montoya last season, the floodgates opened for a number of open-wheel stars to transition into the NASCAR ranks. But after a win and a top-25 points finish for Montoya in his rookie season, can any open-wheeler in the rookie class of 2008 duplicate that success – especially considering most of them have even less preparation time and stock car experience under their belts?
Today’s Season Preview Topic: Toyota made a major effort to upgrade their teams in the offseason, making a blockbuster deal with Joe Gibbs Racing. But how much will the other teams in the Toyota fold benefit? Simply put, can anyone else other than JGR win a race this season in a Camry; and for that matter, can that three-car juggernaut compete for the championship themselves in only their first season following a major manufacturer switch?
Today’s Season Preview Topic: As Hendrick Motorsports comes off another year of dominance, the big question will be how much better they are now that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has entered the fold. Emerging from the shadow of DEI, will NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver succeed in his first year with the new team – or will the pressure of high expectations set him up for failure?
With Daytona testing for the three major series in the books, what have we learned and what questions do you still have heading to the Daytona 500?
0.852 – Matt Kenseth’s margin of victory over Kurt Busch in the Ford 400 (in seconds).
0.870 – Jimmie Johnson’s margin of victory over Greg Biffle in the Checker Auto Parts 500K (in seconds).
0.944 – Jimmie Johnson’s margin of victory over Matt Kenseth in the Dickies 500 (in seconds).
1 – Number of times Jimmie Johnson led the Pep Boys Auto 500 – laps 322 to 329.
3 – Consecutive Martinsville wins for Jimmie Johnson, a feat also accomplished by Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, and Richard Petty. Next spring, Johnson will have the opportunity to make it four in a row, which would tie the record held by Fred Lorenzen.
0.579 – Jeff Gordon’s margin of victory over Clint Bowyer in the Bank of America 500.
1) Jeff Gordon (Six First-Place Votes)
Was going to either win, or become a hood ornament on Tony Stewart’s Chevy in a daring last lap pass for the win.
0.066 – Jeff Gordon’s margin of victory over teammate Jimmie Johnson in the UAW-Ford 500.