The View From My Recliner — Pre 500

by John Harlow On Tue, Feb. 13, 2018

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 SKF Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the weather delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by NASCAR Via Getty Images.

It’s been a while, but the recliner is set for another great season of NASCAR action.

I hope there is more action in the Daytona 500 than the Advanced Auto Parts Duel at Daytona because riding around in single file and the big one happening on the final lap doesn’t mean action to me.

It looks like the new ride height rule has crew chiefs and engineers scratching their heads about how to make the car handle at Daytona. Thankfully they have a couple of days to run simulations and get a plan together and hopefully bring us an action-packed Daytona 500.

The idea behind this column is to share the perspective of a fan. If there is something you want to comment on, feel free to e-mail me jdhwood20@aol.com. I am here for you.

Time for some Bold Predictions from the Recliner.

  • The five crew members over the pit wall will be a mess and before NASCAR gets to Charlotte for the All-Star Race, that rule will change.
  • Ryan Blaney will win the Daytona 500.
  • I will be the new owner of BK Racing. Well, not really, but Ron Devine won’t be soon.
  • When we hit the intermediate tracks, every Ford driver will be complaining that Chevy and Toyota will have an unfair advantage.
  • The Danica Double will end with wrecks at Daytona and Indy.
  • Chase Elliott will get his first win and they will keep coming after that.
  • Furniture Row Racing will have the Championship hangover and Martin Truex Jr. will not make the final four at Homestead.
  • The final four at Homestead will be: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney.
  • The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion will be Kyle Larson.

There are a few things I will be watching for this year.

I want to see how Aric Almirola performs in Stewart-Haas equipment. He was respectable at Richard Petty Motorsports, but he knew most weeks that a top-15 was what he could hope for. Now that he is in a top-notch ride, he needs to prove he is the driver who can handle the equipment.

I hope Bubba Wallace gets enough funding and RPM has the patience to see him develop as a driver at the Cup level. I think he has the talent and I hope he gets the chance to prove it.

I am looking forward to finding out how the Hawkeye inspection platform works and if we will have 20 cars late for qualifying.

It truly is an honor to have this space to share my thoughts on a sport I love.

Enjoy the Duels and the rest of Speedweek.

We’ll talk soon when I share The View From My Recliner.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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