In seven Sundays the glorious crescendo of sound the is start of the Daytona 500 will take place. As the countdown to the 2017 season begins there are a few things of note for race fans.
First and foremost, Dale Earnhardt Jr will be back. Yes, the newly we, fully healed, Dale Jr. will be back behind the wheel of his Nationwide 88 car. After a serious concussion that sidelined Junior for most of the season last year, NASCAR’s most popular driver will return to racing in the new season.
Next, the premier series in NASCAR will no longer be called the Sprint Cup series, it will now be known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The change in title sponsor was officially announced in December along with a change in logo that will be revealed in the near future.
Third, Clint Bowyer will be taking over the number 14 car for Tony Stewart. While seeing Bowyer in the car may take a little getting used to, Stewart-Haas racing has gone out of their way to promote Bowyer and present an optimistic view of the upcoming season.
Lastly, on a sentimental note, Richard Childress is heading for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A drivers strike propagated Childress to start his own team back in 1969 and he never looked back. After building an empire alongside Dale Earnhardt Sr. which changed the face of stock car racing, Childress has continued to be a positive force in NASCAR. Congratulations to Richard Childress and team.
As the 2017 looms on the horizon, race fans everywhere can feel the rising tide of excitement that comes with the first roar of the engines and the first rotation of wheels. Hopes, dreams, and expectations all build in a tremendous crescendo that makes every fan’s heart beat just a little faster. No doubt about it-this season should be something to see.
By Tonia Attard -@audilvrs7
Photos Daytona International Speedway