Other than Talladega Superspeedway, there’s no track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule more known for major — and sometimes frightening — multi-car wrecks than Daytona International Speedway. Due to the unusually close-quarters nature of the racing at the 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway — where drivers tend to race in one or two big packs while driving three- and four-wide all race long — big wrecks happen. And before you can blink your eyes, 15 or 20 cars look like they’re headed for a trash heap. The worst-case scenario, of course, is when one of these wrecks turns violent, which tends to happen with alarming frequency at both Daytona and Talladega.
In any case, every driver in the field and every fan watching from the stands or at home on Saturday night will be holding their collective breaths in expectation of the “Big One,” as the multi-car wrecks that so often mar Daytona and Talladega are commonly called. Of course, it doesn’t doesn’t help that the stakes are so high on Saturday night. This is the second year in a row that the Cup Series has competed at Daytona for its regular season finale. Prior to the 2020 season, NASCAR’s premier division traditionally made its summer trip to Daytona the weekend of July 4.
“If Daytona wasn’t already wild enough, it’s now positioned in a spot on the schedule where it makes it extremely crazy,” said Austin Dillon, one of the drivers trying to race his way into the playoffs. “With the race serving as the final race to get into the playoffs, we’re all going to be doing everything we can, obviously. We already do, but that race is just going to be extreme. I predict some crazy wrecks.”