Thank You for reading and I hope everyone is having a great New Year so far. With the Rolex 24 at Daytona one week away, motorsports season is almost here. With that in mind, here are some predictions for motorsports in 2016.
Scott Pruett Breaks Hurley Haywood’s Daytona Wins Record: One of the bigger stories in sports car racing leading into this year has been the return of Ford with Chip Ganassi Racing at Le Mans. At the other 24 hour race, it will be one of Ganassi’s former drivers making the headlines.
Pruett comes into the season tied with Hurley Haywood at a record five wins in the prestigious event. Now with Action Express Racing, Pruett will be teammed with 2014 winners Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, as well as Filipe Albuquerque and the team’s experience puts them among the favorites to win next week at Daytona.
Tony Stewart wins Pole, Kyle Busch wins Daytona 500: Much attention will be paid to Tony Stewart in what will be his 18th and final attempt to claim that elusive Daytona 500 win. Don’t be surprised if Stewart is able to start the race up front. The favorite to win the event could be Stewart’s former teammate and 2015 Sprint Cup Champion. Before his injury in the Xfinity Series race, Busch was among the fastest cars leading up to the Daytona 500. Now at full health, Busch will look to start 2016 like he ended 2015 and win the Great American Race for the first time.
Chase Elliott Goes Winless, Jimmie Johnson Wins Seventh Title: Replacing the retired Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports is 2014 Xfinity Series Champion Chase Elliott. Elliott, the son of 1988 Cup Series Champion, comes in with big expectations. It is increasingly harder to win in NASCAR’s top series, and it may take some time for Elliott to get used to the series.
After the learning curve, Elliott will have a great chance to become NASCAR’s next superstar. Elliott’s teammate, Jimmie Johnson will finally master the new Chase format and tie Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty with seven titles, also passing Dale Earnhardt’s 76 career wins (Johnson has 75).
Low-Downforce Brings Excitement Back to Cup Series: In the last few years, the lack of on-track action has been a major concern among fans. At Kentucky and Darlington, low-downforce packages were introduced and the results were so positive, the package was implemented for all non-restrictor plate races in 2016. The setup will continue to make for close racing and bring fans back to the sport.
Caution Clock is Tried in Other Series: On Tuesday, NASCAR announced that a 20-minute countdown clock will be implemented in the Truck Series, with a caution automatically being displayed if 20 minutes passes between cautions. This idea has been widely criticized by fans, but don’t consider it impossible that this idea may transfer to the other national touring series, despite its flaws.
Brittany Force Wins the Top Fuel Championship: The only one of NHRA legend John Force’s daughters to not have followed him into Funny Car, Brittany has gone two seasons without a win. Earlier this week, it was announced that renowned tuner Alan Johnson will be working with Brittany during the season. Johnson has won titles with Gary Scelzi, Tony Schumacher, Del Worsham and Shawn Langdon. Look for Brittany to add her name to the list of Johnson’s championship drivers.
Will Power wins 100th Indianapolis 500: The Greatest Spectacle in celebrates the century mark on May 29. Last year, Juan Pablo Montoya held off Will Power to win his second Indianapolis 500. This year, Power will finish one spot better and a driver who dominated road and street courses throughout his career will finally win the biggest oval race in the sport.
Helio Castroneves Retires: Before 2015, Castroneves had been runner-up in the points during the 2013 and 2014 seasons despite just one win each year. After 19 wins in his first 13 seasons, the 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner has just four wins in the last five years. Expect Castroneves to be competitive at Indianapolis in May, but this may be the last year for one of the best at the speedway.
Have a Great Weekend and see you soon.
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