This is the Statt Mann, Baby. It’s time to Scatt a Little Bit…

It’s great to have the NASCAR season underway. Just as great to have Tony Stewart back in the saddle and competing again.

For several years NASCAR has been selling the Daytona 500 as the sport’s Super Bowl. I guess that’s a way to dip into one of the world’s most significant sports brands.

The race is important obviously. It starts the season with gobs of fanfare and new drivers with different teams and often sponsor switches.

But let’s see… Danica Patrick has won a pole as the fastest qualifier. So has David Gilliland. Someone named Loy Allen Jr. won it 20 years ago. How’d that work out for them?

Even winning’s not a guarantee of career or, even, season success. Four of the last six didn’t qualify for the Chase for the Championship at the end of the year.

The Daytona 500 is such a different race. All but two of the starting positions are determined by a race and not the clock. Tough to buy the Super Bowl comparison.

For me the headline this year is whether or not Jimmie Johnson can get his record tying seventh championship. Certainly hope he can. And that has nothing to do with the Daytona 500.