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Daytona Speedweeks predictions from NBC Sports’ NASCAR team

Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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With NASCAR Sprint Cup cars returning to the track at Daytona International Speedway to begin Speedweeks, NBC Sports’ analysts and reporters were asked to make a couple of predictions.

Here’s what they said:

1. Give us a bold prediction on something that might happen during Speedweeks.

STEVE LETARTE: That we have no idea what the storylines will be leaving Daytona. It seems no matter what we think we know 10 days in Daytona changes everything.

DUSTIN LONG: Trevor Bayne scored a stunning victory in the 2011 Daytona 500 for his first Sprint Cup win. Another driver will score their first career victory by winning the 500.

NATE RYAN: There will be a surprise pole winner who has a heartwarming story. Given how things have transpired the past few years, this might not qualify as bold, but my track record on predictions isn’t great.

2. Give us a money-in-the-bank prediction on something you are certain will happen during Speedweeks.

JEFF BURTON: Money in the bank is that the 88 car (of Dale Earnhardt Jr.) will have a chance to win the 500.

STEVE LETARTE: After winning the 500 myself I know that whoever wins that race will forever be changed. That is a career-changing event.

DUSTIN LONG: There will be a crash within the last 10 laps of the Daytona 500.

NATE RYAN: This is too easy, but: A wreck involving more than one car that leaves someone spitting nails.