The Daytona 500 will have a slightly different feel than races in the past, according to Geoffrey Miller of Yahoo Sports. NASCAR has issued some new regulations for the cars that should change the style of the race. That style could lead to more crashes in theory, but the experience of the drivers should help alleviate some of those problems.
Plug all these variables together — plus the fact that many race teams are on edge about practicing full-race conditions — and the recipe for what we saw Saturday night in Daytona seems about right. Fortunately, these drivers have light years more time of practice to get properly acclimated to the conditions ahead of the bright lights of Sunday's race.
These new rules should prevent cars from trying to race one-on-one and using drafting until the very end of the race. It will promote more pack racing, the way that NASCAR races used to be run.
For more on the Great American Race, check out SB Nation NASCAR's Daytona 500 stream, as well as NASCAR Ranting & Raving.