Just six weeks ago, the start of a new season was just days away. We had a bunch of questions regarding the upcoming season then and after five races, we have partial answers to some of the questions. Some of these answers weren’t what we thought they would be, but the whole season so far hasn’t been what we were predicting it to be like. Our predictions were off in a good way since the racing we’ve seen has been better than what we originally thought it would be.
Going into the season, the biggest storyline was the Gen 6 car. How will the car do? What kind of racing will it produce? Well, the five races so far this season have given us a glimpse of what the racing will be like and overall, fans are happy with it. Once the teams and drivers figured out what they had to do to make their cars the best that they can be, the racing has only improved. A little figuring the car out occurred at Daytona and Phoenix, but since then the racing has been superb.
As the season progresses, we will continue to see what the Gen 6 car is all about, but the answer to our pre-season question regarding the Gen 6 car has to be that the car produces great racing that makes each and every lap exciting.
Remember all of that pre-season attention to Danica Patrick? Well, that attention has died down some since Daytona, but it’s still around. When she won the Daytona 500 pole, the Danica concentration only increased. Once Daytona ended, she hasn’t been the main focus of NASCAR. She wrecked in Phoenix, struggled in Vegas, was lapped multiple times in Bristol and stayed in the back in California. So the spotlight she was under has gone down some and so has her performance level since Daytona.
Since her eighth place finish at Daytona, she has failed to finish inside the top twenty. Now the 24/7 attention she received before the season seems not at all worth it. Obviously she is a big storyline herself, but concentrating on something else that would be more important later in the season could have been a better use of everyone’s time. To answer our pre-season question, Danica did exactly what we expected her to do.
One thing that the Danica coverage overshadowed was the potential of our past champion, Brad Keselowski. Brad did receive pre-season attention, but not nearly enough as he should have since he has been streaking since the green-flag dropped at Daytona. He started out the season with four straight top fives, something that we haven’t seen done in awhile by our past champion. No one really expected this hot of a start by Keselowski and he has already exceeded our pre-season expectations.
Five races into the season, he is already showing championship qualities. That is something that other drivers should take as a warning since Keselowski has already shown visions of his second championship and we’re just at the Easter break now. Why we questioned how Brad would do at the beginning of the season is questionable itself since we should have just expected Brad to do extremely well.
All we have as of now are preliminary answers to our pre-season questions, but these partial answers should be an indicator of what’s to come later this season. While some of our questions from before Daytona seem silly now, they all were legitimate thoughts about the upcoming season prior to going green at Daytona. A lot has changed since Daytona and we all know a lot more regarding this season now than we did just a few short weeks ago. 2013 is rolling now and there’s no way of stopping what’s to come later this season. Brace yourself because the action will only be heating up in the next few weeks.
By Jason Schultz