"I like this style of racing [pack] better if there weren't points involved and there weren't so many cars getting torn up," said Carl Edwards. "But I liked the other style because it felt like you could control your destiny a little more and get away and work. I felt like the whole night I was at the mercy of anyone's parts failure or mistake or loose car."
But most of the drivers were happy with the return to pack racing: Martin Truex Jr. was one of the drivers who ended his night early in a wreck, but despite the personal cost he still preferred the pack racing. “I really enjoyed the racing tonight,” he said. “It was a lot of fun while it lasted."
"I had fun racing at Daytona again, which I haven't had for a while," agreed Tony Stewart. "This is better than having to sit there and stare at the back of a spoiler for 500 miles."
As far as the fans were concerned, the return to pack racing - and the ensuing accidents - was a welcome sight indeed. "It's the kind of racing you can't take your eyes off of because you don't know what's going to happen next," one fan told SPEED.com after the Shootout.
"That's what racing should be,” said another. "To see the cars in big packs like that again brought back the good old days here. The difference between last year and tonight was like night and day."
Even though he won last year's Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne for one doesn't know how this year's race is going to play out following all the changes.
“I have no idea," he said when asked what his game plan would be for the rest of Speedweeks. "You want to be in the front to miss the wrecks, but to get to the front you have to push through the madness to get there.
"Last year, I thought I wanted to be in second just like Kyle did there and most of the other races we've seen that," said Bayne. "But if you're racing with other packs, or if it's a big group, I think you want to be the front car because then you're the one that's going to get the best position.”