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Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage makes his picks for 2018 NASCAR season, Daytona 500

by Mike Haag | Posted on Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations

FORT WORTH, Texas – As Sunday’s Daytona 500 approaches, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage offered his insight into which Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver will win the season-opening race, which one will go on to capture the series crown and which among the youth movement will have the biggest impact in 2018.

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage. (Brandon Wade/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Let’s take a look at Gossage’s picks:

  • Daytona 500 Winner: Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske.

Gossage’s take: “I believe that a veteran is going to win his very first Daytona 500 – Brad Keselowski. Never won the Daytona 500; he has won at Talladega. I think Brad will win the Daytona 500 because he is smart, very analytical, a good drafter, he runs well at Daytona and Talladega – virtually two identical tracks. I look for him to wind up on top, but something won’t let go of Alex Bowman.”

  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion: Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Gossage’s take: “I think this year you are going to see a guy win his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship – Kyle Busch, driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle won a couple of years back (2015) and I think he will do it again. He is just such a great talent. He occasionally self-destructs, but I think he’s reached a point in his career that he is going to put it all together and win the championship.”

  • Emerging Young Star: William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

Gossage’s take: “The question is, ‘Who is going to make it big time?’ I’ve got to be honest with you I believe – and most folks I’ve talked to believe – that William Byron is going to be the man to emerge from the pack and be a star in this sport for a long time to come. I wouldn’t be surprised to see William win a race or two, make it to the playoffs (this season).”

Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be broadcast live on FOX beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT.

Fans in North Texas can enjoy the race on the world’s largest TV as Texas Motor Speedway will play host to the “World’s Largest” Daytona 500 Watching Party this weekend. The event is free to the public – ranging from tailgaters to those interested in camping overnight in their RVs – and will be held Saturday and Sunday in the speedway infield for NASCAR’s season-opening XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.