By Micah Roberts
Saturday night these cars were hitting 9,700 PRM’s and it surprising that we didn’t see more failures. The reason we didn’t may have been because It was a short race with an interval after the first 25 laps before the final 50 laps. Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be 200 laps with no interval. Even with the plate reduction, you better believe that there will be a few engine failures over the longer distance.
By closing the front grille opening a little more and installing a pressure-relief valve on the water system at 33 psi, there is going to be even more strain on the car and brings down the operating limits of the car.
For safety reasons, the changes were necessary and had to be made, but I don’t like the timing of it all. These teams spent all off-season maximizing their potential under the given NASCAR rules to win NASCAR’s Super Bowl and now they have to go back to the drawing board with some major changes, given only a few days before their biggest race of the season. All the time, money, strategy and effort spent has been thrown out the window.
It’s insane to assume that the drivers can stay away from each other in a restrictor-plate race. There is no clean air unless being up front. Even if they try to run alone, they can’t, which is going to end quite a few cars day before the race ends due to overheating.
Plate racing is volatile enough as it is with cars taking each other out at high speeds going three-wide, but now we have NASCAR rules in place which should take care of a few themselves.
Because of these changes, I’m feeling less and less comfortable about wagering too much on this race. It was already hard enough to pick a winner in a plate race and with so much shuffling of positions during each, betting driver matchups is almost unbettable. With these changes, it makes every car vulnerable to a DNF like never before.
Of course I’m going to watch it, are you kidding? It’s still the Daytona 500, but as a bettor, a top rule is always money management and betting on this type of racing with so many unknown variables, it’s a poor investment.
On a normal weekend of racing, the player can have a real edge in matchups and odds to win by narrowing down the top five cars after the final practices making the profit margin higher for the player than any casino game. This years Daytona 500 is a huge house adavantage making betting on which dollar bill will land on the casino’s big money wheel seem like a fairer player edge.
Still, I've already bet and will bet a few more because my strategy is already underway with having already taken five drivers and at least five more to come, but my unit plays will be less than the 32 other non-plate races.
1) #48 Jimmie Johnson (8/1)
2) #5 Mark Martin (20/1)
3) #29 Kevin Harvick (3/1)
4) #39 Ryan Newman (15/1)
5) #27 Paul Menard (30/1)
Gatorade Duel Top 5 Finish Prediction - Race 2
1) #31 Jeff Burton (10/1)
2) #56 Martin Truex Jr. (20/1)
3) #2 Brad Keselowski (30/1)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (3/1)
5) #1 Jamie McMurray (7/1)