Five Most Anticipated Races of 2013
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on December 21, 2012 | 6:41 A.M. EST
Eldora Speedway will host the Camping World Truck Series this summer.
All three of NASCAR’s top divisions have significant changes that should generate fan interest across the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. From the debut of the redesigned 2013 Cup car to the introduction of the Camaro to Nationwide competition to new venues in the Truck Series, the new year has already created tremendous buzz within NASCAR Nation.
Here are five can’t miss races for the 2013 campaign:
Daytona 500 (February 24)
The traditional Sprint Cup Series season opener once again is set for a late February date at “The World Center of Racing.” It will officially usher in the revamped Sprint Cup Series era and be the first points-paying event for drivers piloting the new Ford Fusion, Chevrolet SS and Toyota Camry. How the cars react in the draft and with the restrictor plate package NASCAR comes up with will be intriguing to watch. And let’s face it, any edition of “The Great American Race” to kick off the NASCAR year is not to be missed.
Camping World Truck Series - Eldora (July 24)
NASCAR’s first top tier series race on dirt since 1970 has captured fans’ imagination across the country. When Tony Stewart’s historic Eldora Speedway opens its gates this summer to host the Camping World Truck Series, standing room only will be an understatement. In addition to a packed grandstand and perhaps record television and radio audiences, the garage area might see upwards of 50 trucks jammed in with a “Who’s Who” of drivers trying to make the momentous race. It will definitely be a Wednesday night to remember.
Nationwide Series - Mid-Ohio (August 17)
Ohio has suddenly become the epicenter for NASCAR racing in 2013 with the Nationwide Series joining the trucks in the Buckeye State. The twisting Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course replaces Montreal on the series schedule and no doubt will provide a challenge. The twisting and technical course will also give fans a gorgeous setting for what has the potential to be a rough and tumble (and entertaining) afternoon.
Sprint Cup Series - Martinsville Speedway (April 7)
It’s not hard to look forward to racing at the tight Virginia half mile that has been a part of NASCAR since the very beginning. But next spring’s first of two visits to the paperclip track will pack the extra punch of putting the new Cup car through its initial Martinsville paces. We’ll get a chance to see how the machines respond to some close, hard nosed racing that will no doubt result in some bent sheet metal. Oh and there’s also a chance some harboring ill will between a few competitors (Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer for instance) may come to the forefront.
Sprint Cup Series - Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 17)
Although last year’s season finale didn’t have quite the drama of the previous year’s battle between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards (really, how could it?), watching Brad Keselowski fight off Jimmie Johnson’s last ditch effort to steal the crown was fascinating. In the era of the Chase, there’s a very good chance the 2013 title will also go down to the wire. Can Keselowski repeat? Will Johnson mount a new challenge for a sixth championship? Or will someone new come out of nowhere to put his name on the Sprint Cup Series trophy? When the long and grinding season finally comes to a close in south Florida, those questions will be answered.