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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the 60th Daytona 500

The week leading into the big event for any sport is filled with so many emotions.  There’s excitement for actually being part of such a moment, then there’s anxiety of being able to do all that is asked.  As the event draws closer, the pressure raises up, and the realization becomes more evident…it’s the big one.

It’s how one can overcome that pressure and achieve success that separates the best from the average.

The Philadelphia Eagles all felt that pressure heading into the Super Bowl, and it was increased knowing they were going up against the modern dynasty New England Patriots.  But, they had an entire season to overcome the odds, and it led them to achieving something that the Philadelphia area never experienced…a Super Bowl victory.

NASCAR is no different.  It’s a team effort to prepare for that big moment, in the biggest race of the year.  But, there is no season-long build up to that big moment.

Instead, it’s off-season preparation that immediately brings the pressure to the top because the first race of the year is the biggest of the season.  No other sport has the biggest moment happen right at the start of the season, and it’s the one event that every driver, every team, and every fan knows can define a career.  Would anyone know the name Trevor Bayne if it wasn’t for his unreal moment in 2011?  Did anyone ever think that Darrell Waltrip would somehow hold on for his moment?

Would a career feel complete for Dale Earnhardt if his feeling of accomplishment in 1998 had not occurred?

That is what Daytona means to everyone…it is a career-defining event.  Even those that already have experienced their moment want to have another.  Richard Petty had seven in his career, Jeff Gordon experienced it on three occasions, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. experienced his two at a 10-year interval.

The “Great American Race” is the one every driver wants to accomplish, and now for 2018, the time has come to find out who will experience the thrill of victory.

Along with that, the 2018 season is calling the League participants back once again.  Last year, the longest-running competitor finally got the thrill of victory, and is back to defend his title for 2018.  Every pick is ready, and no changes in the points mean the battle is on for the new season.  Who do the League participants will win the biggest race of the year?  Let’s take a view at the first round of picks for the season for the 60th Annual Daytona 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Jamie McMurray

The 2010 Daytona 500 champion is always a favorite at the restrictor plate races.  Two wins at Daytona, two at Talladega and is looking for his second 500 win.

Rob Blount:  Joey Logano

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Kevin Harvick

The stats point to Harvick, so let’s go with Happy!

Ashley Hull:  Ryan Blaney

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick sent.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Chase Elliott

This is an emotional weekend for NASCAR in a sense.  February 18 is the same day that the NASCAR community lost their rock, their backbone, and every day it still is painful.  There’s so many changes this year, new numbers, new drivers, swaps of rides and sponsors, it is all so new.  But, judging by the way the Duels went, the safe bet is to go with youth, and that’s why I am sticking with Elliott this year again.  He’s in his dad’s number, the same number that won the 1985 Daytona 500 that helped propel “Awesome Bill” to a cool $1 million bonus.  Now, it’s the boy’s turn to take the No. 9 to victory.

Trisha Rodisch:  Chase Elliott

The phrase “always the bridesmaid and never the bride” could apply to Chase. After so many “almost” Sunday Chase will take his turn in victory lane.

Sal Sigala Jr. (Defending Champion):  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Kyle Larson

It hasn’t been a wonderful Speedweeks yet for Kyle Larson. If anything, he changes his fortune come Sunday with a Daytona 500 victory.

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

 

Summary of Picks:

Chase Elliott-2

Brad Keselowski-2

Kevin Harvick-2

Jamie McMurray-2

Ryan Blaney-1

Kyle Larson-1

Joey Logano-1

About Dustin Parks

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