The restrictor-plate tracks are known for their many first-time winners. The restrictor-plates are an equalizer, and that allows even the smallest team to win the race. A small team with a driver like David Ragan or Josh Wise could steal the victory from the powerhouse teams of Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Every time the Sprint Cup Series heads to Daytona or Talladega, a few drivers get their chances in the spotlight. Michael Waltrip and Danica Patrick are two drivers who could pick up a win at Daytona, even when struggling at other tracks. Waltrip has two Daytona 500 victories under his belt already, and he always comes back to race at Daytona and Talladega. Patrick has run better this season on all the tracks she’s raced on, but Daytona may prove to be her best shot at getting to victory lane.
Hendrick Motorsports has now won the last three races at Daytona, dating back to Jimmie Johnson’s Daytona 500 victory last season. The odds are good that another Hendrick driver gets into victory lane in the Coke Zero 400, but all eyes will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr. He returns to the site of his first victory of the season in the Daytona 500, and many will be watching to see if he can sweep the Daytona races.
All these storylines and more will converge when the drivers take the green flag for the Coke Zero 400 this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST on TNT.