Never two without three at the Daytona 500?

Never two without three at the Daytona 500?


DAYTONA BEACH | This is the race every NASCAR driver wants to win. Could the Daytona 500, which kicks off a long season in America's stock car premier class on Sunday, crown another unexpected winner as it has for the past two years?

Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric have one thing in common, that of having won, not without surprise, their first (and only) NASCAR Cup victory there, in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

History can therefore repeating itself this year, although most analysts agree that some seasoned veterans are desperate to reverse this trend.

Kyle Busch, for one, has been waiting a long time to parade in the circle of the Daytona 500 winner, the only award missing from his brilliant track record.

“To win, you have to put all the ingredients together. A good car, an effective strategy and above all make sure to save the best for last,” explains the two-time NASCAR Cup champion (2015 and 2019).

The Super Bowl of NASCAR

The Daytona 500 is often played out in the last few yards, resulting in spectacular crashes that can sometimes make underdogs stand out.

“It is undeniably a difficult race to win for many reasons. Some drivers will take just one win in their NASCAR career and that will be the Daytona 500. 

“They are willing to take big risks to get there. This event is the Super Bowl of our sport. We all want our name to be inscribed on the precious trophy, “said the man who ended a long association with Joe Gibbs' team to accept the offer to defend the colors of Richard Childress' team in 2023. .

“Often you have to be patient,” he recalls. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won only once at Daytona [in 1998] and he only succeeded on his 20th attempt. ”

As a sad reminder, Earnhardt, a true legend of specialty and considered the most popular driver in history, tragically lost his life after a swerve on the very last lap of the Daytona 500 in February 2001. He was 49 years old.