I think we're all aware that the "action" at this year's 500 is certainly the biggest question mark since the '97 race.
We've been speculating here on TF about qualifying speeds and #s of cars for quite some time, but what's important for the folks in the stands and watching on the tube after the green falls is if they are going to see a true "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
By "action" I mean where and when can they pass, how hard the cars are to drive for 500 miles (loose, tight, any lifting?), tire wear (causing cautions every 20 laps when someone drifts high as we have seen in the recent past), number of mechanical failures, packs of cars or strung out, etc.
I have no idea, but I'll start off the discussion with my best guess.
I feel with the lower speeds and plenty of downforce, the cars will be easier to drive lap after lap during the race than in years past. The tires won't be wearing as quickly and we won't be getting lame-o cautions every 20 laps when someone drifts high.
Because the cars are easier to drive, there will be several nice packs of cars running close and passing (drafting) quite often. The 500 "action" (hopefully!!) may end up looking like a typical Freedom 100, which would be awesome!
3-wide going into T1 may be attempted a few times. On the downside, there will be more mechanical failures and there may even be some catastrophic ones that lay down oil and cause a few wrecks. With the cars easier to drive, there may be less one-car wrecks, but perhaps more tangles while battling for position. We may even see some bold blocking on the straights if the competition is close enough.
Oh what the heck, I may be full of baloney and just the opposite of what I've suggested here may happen, but it's kinda to fun to see who may be able to predict what kind of race it will be.