With the new pavement will we see 3 wide racing all day? In most cases in recent history the roughness of the track, coupled with the air being buffered in the middle lane, made it a bad place to be hug out. Being IN the middle is not the "IN" place to be. That may not be the case this year by reports from drivers. As we seen in Dega after the repaving, cars would travel in packs of four with no problems. Daytona is not as wide as Dega but 3 wide is very possible now. In fact in my opinion could and may be exactly where you want to be. (Hear me out on this one.) Racing is about aero just as flight is. From fighter jets to birds in migration when in flight in a pack, travel in a V formation. This reduces drag. Now it might not help with the updraft of flying but very well could make the middle lane the "IN" place. If you can get in front of the two out side lanes your bad air will be moved out, & if the other cars are close they also help move the air. Therefore if you go 3 wide on a smooth track that all cars can run wide open (Daytona this year), you change the air resistance so the middle is the point of least resistance. Not only are they helping you move the air you are helping them move the air also so we may see higher than anticipated speeds to boot. Especially when you figure in the rows of 3 pushing from behind with little to no air hitting the nose.
This brings up the next problem. Middle of the pack, Where do get cool air for you engine. Though being up front in the middle may help it hurts the guy 2 and 3 rows back when he is getting little to no good air to his ducts for cooling. (Brakes, Oil, Water) As we have seen in in both restrictor plate tracks last year it only takes 2 to dance. So look for the middle to be a place people try to get out of if not one of the 1st 2 cars.
I could be way off on this, but I was bored and couldn't seem to fall asleep. By this theory I would say falling behind in the outside lane would be the worst place to be. You are forcing air into a wall which pushes it back against you, while the middle lane dirties up the air on your left corner, which you will want for handling. Not to mention you are going the longest way around. I know some will argue that you have the momentum out there, but mind you that the guy on the inside,,,,,,,,,,,,,, his foot is glued to the floor board too.
To hijack a verse from DW, Boogity boogity boogity lets get debating boys, and girls too.