So here I am after many years of coming to Daytona for NASCAR'S annual coming out party, I find myself trying to cover The Daytona 500 for our incredible listeners. I have to be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing or where I can and can't go yet. It should be quite a learning experience but I will do my best to try to get some fun pictures and maybe an interview or two for you.

Sean McMaster

The first opportunity I have had so far was running into NASCAR commentator and former crew chief, Jeff Hammond. I was in no way ready for the interview but he was extremely gracious and I didn't know if I would run into him again, so I winged it. Unfortunately the recorder I was using was a bit touchy and I lost a lot of the interview but I did mange to get his prediction for the race on tape. Now, we can hold him to it!

The first thing I asked Jeff was what he thought of all the changes to "The Chase", and how NASCAR'S Champion will be determined. If you are unaware of all of the changes, I did write about it in an earlier article.

Jeff thought the changes were great, he seemed very excited about the fact that winning a race becomes more and more important, and that it will allow racers into the chase that have been excluded in the past because of maybe one or two bad races. He also told me that having 4 potential winners in that final race is great for the sport. He said, "The main thing right now is, everybody is talking about the chase, that was the idea of getting some interest put back into it, and we'll have to wait to see how it plays out."

Sean McMaster

I have to say that once I asked a question, his ability to answer quickly and with such knowledge was really amazing to me. When you watch these guys on TV, you sometimes wonder how much of it is scripted and how much is conversational, I have to say that either way, Jeff Hammond knows his stuff and knows how to convey his point eloquently and with detail and fact. I was impressed.

So, with that said, knowing this guy knows what he's talking about, I had to ask the most important question, "Who will win the Daytona 500 this year?"

This is where he became a bit of a politician: