This is the Statt Mann Baby!!  Time to Scatt a little bit.

I can’t say I was surprised to see how the open wheel invaders in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing faired in qualifying for the Daytona 500.

Sam Hornish Jr. was the fastest of the bunch taking the green flag at 19th in today’s race.  That was only four behind last year’s open-wheel wannabee Juan Montoya.

After Hornish the next open wheel invader was Dario Franchitti who started the race all the way back in 40th. 

Patrick Carpentier and Jacques Villeneuve didn’t even make the show proving once again you can’t just will yourself around a Cup left-hand turn no matter how easy it may look.

Of those four names: Hornish, Franchitti Carpentier and Villeneuve, there are three Indy 500 wins.  Today, only one qualified in the top 20 of a Cup race.

Another open wheel star, A.J. Allmendinger, didn’t get into the so-called Great American Race today and he was in one of the powerful Toyotas that will give the Hendrick Chevys all they can handle as the year unfolds.

Daytona has a peculiar qualifying procedure but the fact that Sam Hornish proves he can sniff the front of a Cup field doesn’t surprise me at all.  He was a bulldog on IRL ovals.  He’ll be a bulldog on NASCAR ovals.  He has the Midwestern tenacity to pull it off.