The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Auto Racing

February 23, 2013

Danica brings new eyes to NASCAR and Daytona 500

(Continued)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —

He'll drive for Stewart next season at Stewart-Haas Racing, but is determined to make this last year with RCR count.

"Everybody is just working toward the same goal, that's winning the races," Harvick said. "We have to be professional anyway, whether it's lame duck or not. You can call it whatever you want. We're going to have a helluva lot of fun racing, having a good time, doing our jobs."

The 500 will be the first with a full 43-car field racing NASCAR's new Gen-6 car, which was designed all last season with input from teams, drivers and the manufacturers.

Part of the intent was to design a car that more closely resembled what the automakers sell in the showrooms, and NASCAR succeeded in that area. But NASCAR also needed a car that produced better on-track racing, and the verdict is not in yet.

There's a lot of unknowns with the Gen-6 heading into Sunday, partly because drivers spent Speedweeks learning as much as they can about how it handles on the track. All three races so far have been largely uneventful, resembling something closer to a long parade rather than a high-speed spectacle.

If not for Kyle Busch's win in a Toyota in the second of Thursday's twin qualifying races, it would so far be a Chevrolet rout with Harvick taking the new SS to Victory Lane twice and Patrick winning the pole in her Chevy.

All bets could be off on Sunday, Busch warned.

"It might be we all ran single file because we were scared to run side-by-side," Busch said after Thursday's win. "I don't know. I was ready to put on a show, but I didn't have enough people around me to make one happen."

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