• 70°

NASCAR Panel: Daytona

Since the Penske Racing shakeup, the two cars have improved. Is this a short-term gain or will it yield long-term results?

Mark Trest: Roger Penske himself must’ve gotten the memo from Busch’s outburst, because this whole team has really come to life since that day. You have to believe the entire organizations focus and efforts are all back on track. Just look at the results. Ol’ Roger must have chewed some behinds! Long term gains definitely.

Ken Mays: I’m hoping it’s going to be a long term thing. It’s good to see things start to mix up in the different teams. It really keeps you on your feet during a race.

Jason Cannon: Time will tell but there’s no reason to think it won’t be long-term. It’s obviously worked so it stands to reason that they’ll tread along this new path until it stops working.

Ten races before the Chase. Can Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin get back in the top 10?

Mark Trest: I feel Hamlin will make the cut. I’m not so sure about Stewart. He just hasn’t made much noise this season, and when he has, he fades late in the race he’s competed so well in. Look for Hamlin, Stewart, Bowyer, Earnhardt to be the teams on the bubble come Richmond.

Ken Mays: I think so. If not, I look for them to be at least in the top twelve. They are good come back drivers.

Jason Cannon: Denny Hamlin will make the cut but I don’t see enough consistency from Stewart lately. I think he’ll ultimately miss the Chase.

Do you see Roush-Fenway Racing undergoing any significant changes in the offseason?

Mark Trest: Probably not. I feel like they will find another noteworthy sponsor. Matt Kenseth is too good of a driver, and his team is too good for someone to not want to sponsor them.

Ken Mays: I see a lot of changes that are going to be going on in all of the teams. There are quite a few drivers that are going to be free agents here soon.

Jason Cannon: I can’t see David Ragan still in the No. 6 next year. If I were UPS I would want to be on Kenseth’s car. They stuck by Dale Jarrett as his career wound down and now are with Regan. I would want on the hood of a winner and Kenseth is a winner.

Joey Logano was supposed the light the Cup Series ablaze when he burst on the scene three years ago. How do you rate his success so far?

Mark Trest: Good but not great. At least he’s been around long enough to get into a fight or two on the track, so he is getting there. His time is coming.

Ken Mays: I see him as a disappointment. I had very high hopes for him for one reason: I had a lot of number 20 stuff hanging around my home office. I think he needed to race a couple more years in the Nationwide Series to get a lot more miles under his belt. There is no doubt that he has what it takes but he really needs seasoning to be better.

Jason Cannon: Logano and Dale Junior are a lot alike. They’re pretty successful when you measure them against their peers, but look like a failure when you measure them against expectations. Expectations for both of them are/were out of whack. With that said, Logano is a distant third in terms of talent on his own team.

Who is your pick to win this weekend?

Mark Trest: Dale Junior pushed Johnson to the front at ‘Dega. It may be the other way around this time at Daytona. Earnhardt by a nose.

Ken Mays: I really like Tony Stewart in this race. He seems to do good in the second Daytona Race.

Jason Cannon: Give me Dale Junior. I know he hates the two car draft but he’s pretty good at it. I think it’s his time to break a win loose.