In regards to what it means in relation to the rest of the season the short answer would be not much (As the plate races are nearly always unpredictable). However a few things in general can possibly be gleaned from this year?s 500.
1. Anyone can win at the restrictor plate races. Ok so we knew this and it hardly bears repeating but?
2. Jamie McMurray is a highly underrated ?plate racer? and it should not be a total surprise he won.
3. Junior is back (at the very least his confidence and comfort level which is a start). Like him or hate him this can only help NASCAR if he continues to do well.
4. You try to take the middle at a ?plate track? and you get hung out to dry.
5. At this point NASCAR made a great decision on the new ?plate package? and rule changes. We will see down the line how reverting back to the spoiler goes.
6. Daytona needs to be repaved. ASAP.
7. NASCAR is going to have trouble keeping the casual fans interest when a race is stopped for 2 plus hours. If they did indeed tune out they missed a heck of a finish however.
Now a couple things that may be true but won?t be known until a few of the more ?traditional tracks? are run:
1. Both RCR and Roush look to be much improved this year. Time will tell however as Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick also looked to be on the right path last year at this time.
2. If the Bud Shootout, the Duels, and the 500 are any indication this just could be the most competitive year yet. The gap from ?Contender? to ?Champion? is closing.
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