Can NASCAR Focus on Racing?

Can NASCAR Focus on Racing?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Think fast: Who won last year's Daytona 500?

If you remembered it was Matt Kenseth, congratulations. Most of America remembers the 2012 version of NASCAR's biggest race for a jet dryer explosion, Brad Keselowski's in-race Twitter picture of the ensuing fire and Danica Patrick's Sprint Cup Series debut.

This year, NASCAR hopes to reduce the sideshows and get the focus back on racing — and its new cars.

Daytona Speedweeks open with Thursday's media day, when a slew of drivers, team owners and sponsors will descend on 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, beginning a 10-day run-up to the Feb. 24 Daytona 500.

But while there's plenty of on-track activity to discuss — such as how the Generation 6 cars will fare when trying to bump-draft on Daytona's high banks — the story lines bleed over into topics such as the Daytona 500 drought for one of NASCAR's greatest restrictor-plate racers and the romantic relationship between two drivers.

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