Daytona Important To Drivers But Not To Points Race

Nearly everyone agrees the Daytona 500 is the most important race on the Winston Cup schedule. But based on last year's results, a bad Daytona doesn't ruin your chances of finishing well in the final NASCAR standings. In 1999, none of the top...

Nearly everyone agrees the Daytona 500 is the most important race on the Winston Cup schedule. But based on last year's results, a bad Daytona doesn't ruin your chances of finishing well in the final NASCAR standings. In 1999, none of the top five points finishers fared any better than 25th at Daytona.

Bad 1999 Daytona-Good Season

Jarrett finished 37th at Daytona but finished first in 1999 points B.Labonte finished 25th at Daytona but finished second in 1999 points Martin finished 31st at Daytona but finished third in 1999 points. Stewart finished 28th at Daytona but finished fourth in 1999 points. J.Burton finished 35th at Daytona but finished fifth in 1999 points.

Good 1999 Daytona- Not So Good Season

J.Gordon won Daytona but finished sixth in the 1999 points. D.Earnhardt finished second at Daytona but finished seventh in the 1999 points. Irwin finished third at Daytona but 19th in the 1999 points. Skinner finished 4th at Daytona and tenth in the 1999 points. M.Waltrip finished fifth at Daytona but 29th in the 1999 points.

Johnny Benson on the Importance of the Daytona 500:

"No doubt about it, Daytona is the most important race of the season for us. But by the same token it doesn't make or break your season. In fact if you look last year, if you had a bad Daytona you had a good season and if you did well in Daytona you probably struggled later in the season. It's funny how that worked out. Nobody who finished in the top five in the points finished any better than 25th in last year's race. It's a cliche, but you have to remember that no matter how much we test, no matter how hard we work or how long we stay down here, this race is worth the same amount of points as Rockingham, Bristol, Martinsville or Sears Point. Our point system rewards consistency and that is what it is going to take to get on the stage in New York City at the banquet. What is kind of cool is that a lot of people are going to come out of the race on Sunday and say 'we are ahead of where Jarrett was this time last year.' That is a good feeling."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson