Saturday, January 21, 2023

The 2023 season is packed with storylines for FOX Sports Analysts

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The 2023 NASCAR season begins the weekend of February 17-19. There are several prominent storylines to watch, but two FOX Sports analysts have singled out their favorites.

Trevor Bayne and Kaitlyn Vincie provided the insight before heading to Los Angeles for the Busch Light Clash. They both explained that they can’t wait to see how certain drivers fare during a pivotal season, and they explained why the Craftsman Truck Series tops the list in terms of intrigue.

“I think about the Truck Series a lot because that’s what I do the most,” said Bayne. “And I look forward to seeing all these manufacturers that have changed and the trickle down effect of Kyle Busch [moving to Chevrolet].

“Well, it didn’t just affect him in the Cup. You’re like, ‘Okay, now it’s a Chevrolet. David Gilliland and TRICON Garage come to Toyota and ThorSport comes to Ford. That’s why Hailie Deegan is in, now Christian Eckes is out. There are all these moving parts, so I enjoy watching Daytona because you have all these people and all these new places. It’s like, how are they going to show up after two months?”

“Hailie Deegan and the trucks, she started racing full-time in 2021 and she only had one top 10 performance that year,” Vincie said. “Last season she only had two. Now she goes to a team that is a proven success in the Truck Series, past champions. So I think this will be her year or it won’t be.

“I think this will be the time to really see where her skills lie in this particular series because she will have all the tools and resources around her to really be successful. A great opportunity with a well respected, proven winning team within this series. I read that she is enjoying the pressure of the new situation she is in. She likes it. She enjoys having that pressure on her shoulders. So I feel like this is a make or break year for them in a way.

Bayne and Vincie spend a lot of time discussing the Craftsman Truck Series and they will have the opportunity to continue doing so throughout the 2023 season in episodes of NASCAR RaceDay. You’ll also explore a prominent storyline in the Cup Series.

Both Bayne and Vincie mentioned Kyle Busch’s move to Richard Childress Racing when discussing the 2023 season. They expressed interest in his prospects with the Chevrolet team, trying to determine if he will continue to fight for victories.

“Kyle Busch makes any team stronger than him,” Vincie continued. “This was such an interesting and unusual story to follow last year as it unfolded, sort of trying to figure out where the pieces would end up, where he would eventually be. I think he’s just such a tremendous talent. It doesn’t matter where he is, he will always be competitive, riding at the front, fighting for wins, being the Kyle Busch we all know and love to see out on the track.

“So I’m excited to see how quickly they can get things working for him. He’s competitive at every track we visit. So I think it’s going to stay that way. I would love to see him rejuvenate this organization even more than last year. They had a great campaign in 2022 without him. I just think he will bring a lot of knowledge, a lot of success and a new way of looking at things. So I know everyone at RCR is really looking forward to having him and seeing how he can improve their overall program.”

“I feel like I’m in Daytona, everyone is looking forward to getting there,” Bayne said. “So for me this is the fun race. As a past winner, it’s always special to see and I just think it’s cool. So that’s my storyline: ‘How does everyone start the new year?

“And then on the cup side, back to Kyle Busch, he’s never won one [Daytona] 500, but he’s with RCR. Always great at speedway races. AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson walk in. It’s just exciting to see the start of the new year and to find out which car everyone is in.”

The Truck Series, Deegan and Busch were all storylines mentioned by the two FOX Sports analysts. Vincie also took a moment to talk about Kevin Harvick announcing that 2023 will be his last season in the Cup Series.

“Personally, I will be sad to see him go,” Vincie said. “I’ve always really enjoyed following his career. I think he kind of does things his way. He’s had a Hall of Famer worthy career, no question. past champion.

“I think back to 2020 when we just saw the dominance of this team when they won nine races. It was wild and obviously it was a different era, a different car, all those things. But I’m curious if he can really go at full speed. We don’t always see that with drivers over the last year.”

As Vincie explained, she knows Harvick will try to win more races. Right now, she’s more focused on whether he gets a proper send-off. She compared the situation to the 2020 season, when Jimmie Johnson took his final ride with no fans present.

2023 will be a significantly different situation. Fans will flock to the tracks on the schedule and will have the opportunity to watch Harvick in person as he attempts to add more wins to his career and make another run towards a fourth championship. You will also help make this send-off possible for the 2014 Cup Series champion.

“There are all kinds of stories to be seen in 2023, which of course makes it very exciting for us as journalists,” concluded Vincie. “So we’re going to be busy this year, to say the least.”

As Vincie explained, she knows Harvick will try to win more races. Right now, she’s more focused on whether he gets a proper send-off. She compared the situation to the 2020 season, when Jimmie Johnson took his final ride with no fans present.

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