I'm going out on a limb, albeit a pretty sturdy one, by saying Dale Jr. will win the Daytona 500. Or should I say Dayyyyal, as pronounced by his minions of fans.
I'm not a Nascar fan by any stretch of the imagination. I prefer open wheel racing, specifically Champcar or Formula 1. You may say, 'what about the IRL?' Well my feeling on the IRL is that they tried to instill a business model to copy that of Nascar. Only problem is, most open wheel fans want more than just the roundy round tracks on the schedule. They want something that shows off the drivers skills to the nth degree and that requires right turns as well as left turns, off camber turns, out braking a competitor on a blind uphill turn to gain a position, etc. We want more than just to know a racer is brave(or stupid) for driving on a high banked speedway. But NOW IRL is becoming what it despised....CART.
Back to my prediction, Dayyyyal is going to win. NASCAR needs it. As their ticket prices go up, TV ratings go down, and track attendance goes down they want, no they NEED Dayyyyal to win because he has the fan base. NASCAR has a history of mysterious yellow flags to bring the pack back together for an 'exciting finish'. Is that right to manipulate like that? What happened to the best man winning based on his skill and his machine, regardless of the gap between positions?
While I wait for the needed merger of the IRL & Champcar(rumor this morning is that it's a done deal), I'll probably tune in to the snoozer 500 today from time to time to see the obligatory 'big one'. But don't be one bit surprised to see the former Bud poster boy win this one and have the fans leaving Daytona satisfied.