What Lincoln is Thinkin' - Duel Day at Daytona

By Matt Lincoln - bio | email

DAYTONA, FL (WWBT) -- Duel day is coming to an end at Daytona International Speedway, and once again it was a discouraging day for Denny.  Hamlin got spun around, but did a great job keeping his car from hitting anything hard (reminiscent of what he did in the final race at Homestead last year).

Hamlin has seen the wrong end of some aggressive moves, and it's led to a discouraging week.  But we spend so much time trying to figure out the starting grid for the Daytona 500, when in reality it is the race where starting position means the least.

Matt Kenseth won this thing two years ago starting in dead last.  Hamlin will start in row 9.  In the same boat is Dale Jr., who said yesterday he feels "snakebit" and that he keeps on getting caught up in wrecks that are not his fault.  With the late run he made in last year's race, I'm not putting a worst to first out of the realm of possibility.

At the other end of the spectrum, everything is coming up roses for Kurt Busch. The driver of the Yellow Deuce-Deuce won the Bud shootout and then won his Duel today (something Jr. did in 2008, for those who may have forgotten), but I'm not ready to jump in and say he's the favorite to win Sunday.

He's one of a handful of drivers who had a good enough car to win that duel (Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth to name a few), and he got lucky to be at the front in the end.  He'll have a good enough car to be a player on Sunday, but he's got to be lucky to have that spot in the end.

One thing I really enjoy about covering NASCAR is that while I may only cover a handful of races a year, there are many people who are going to be at every race all year long.  So it's cool to see those guys and girls, it's like a mini-reunion.  Unlike other major sports, each week, all the sport's media is in one place, so it feels as much like family as the drivers and their teams do.

There's a big group of press conferences tomorrow... what do you want to hear from the drivers?

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