As most of the country sits in some of the coldest weather of the decade, Daytona looms less than a month away. So while most of the Unites States freezes, let’s think about three NASCAR cold streaks and if they might come to an end in 2014.Tony Stewart Winning the Daytona 500
Stewart will be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and might be one of the most important drivers of our generation. The only thing Stewart hasn’t done is win the Great American Race.
Chances are this cold streak will continue. Stewart just received medical clearance to race this week after breaking his leg last season. He spent much of the break talking about how much worse the injury was than first reported. While it would be quite the story to win racing’s biggest event in the first race back after a career threatening injury, Stewart may have to wait until 2015 to snap the streak.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Winning Anything
NASCAR’s most popular driver has won twice in his last 250 Sprint Cup starts over seven years. Despite having one of his most consistent seasons last year, winning (or the lack of) continues to be the first thing Earnhardt Jr. is asked about before and after races.
Chances are this cold streak ends in 2014. Steve Letarte is leaving for NBC. Everything he has will go into winning a title in 2014. The #88 will also benefit from a new Chase format that will leave more teams modifying setups in Chase preparation. It’s time for Earnhardt Jr’s victory celebration to thaw.
Ford Winning a Sprint Cup
This is a great read on Ford’s Sprint Cup struggles over the last ten years. For starters, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Kurt Busch won the Sprint Cup. I also can’t believe Busch is on his fourth team in that time. But other than the Carl Edwards duel with Tony Stewart in 2011, Ford hasn’t found the fusion or focus to win a Sprint Cup.
That could change in 2014. Brad Keselowksi will bounce back in some form. Joey Logano took a major step after leaving Joe Gibbs Racing. Plus, 2014 couldn’t be as bad as 2013 was for Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. Will this be enough to topple the Hendrick juggernaut? Maybe not under the old points system. But with Homestead being a 1.5 mile Game 7, Jack Roush might find reason to smile.
It’s about time for things to heat up on and off the track. Stay warm and remember Daytona is a day closer.