Well, congratulations to “Jamie Mac” on winning the Daytona 500. Fortunately, in my opinion, DW was wrong in predicting Harvick for the win, although it was a distinct possibility for a while. This years installment of the Great American Race was way better this year than in recent years.
NASCAR has been slavishly addicted to making certain the drivers are as safe as can possibly be, after the unfortunate and untimely wreck that cost the world one of the best racecar drivers in history, Dale Earnhardt. While I absolutely applaud the fact that NASCAR has been all over driver safety in the last decade especially, it has been somewhat of a setback as far as the drivers and fans are concerned. Fans and drivers want to see all the things that make a race great, from driver fights to bump drafting (even in the corners!) and we as fans know that drivers are fully able to police this issue themselves. So now, NASCAR has made the announcement that they are giving racing back to the fans and the drivers. Already, the Daytona 500 has shown that drivers are perfectly capable of making competent decisions during a race that makes for great racing and safety too. As Tony put it..”now if you make me mad, watch out.” And we already know that Kyle Busch and JP Montoya have no problem expressing themselves on the racetrack too. This season is going to be exciting with a capital E!
As far as Daytona itself is concerned, there was an interesting “halftime” event where the drivers got to get out, walk around, eat, pee or whatnot while NASCAR officials were busy patching a gaping hole in the asphalt that was the bane of Jimmie Johnson’s day. About 40 laps after the patch was placed, it was run over and pretty much disintegrated. Then came the epoxy patch (nice thinking on someone’s part) and they were off and running again after a much shorter second delay.
Tony Stewart had a car that just didn’t want to go and his hopes of finally getting a Daytona win were put on hold again for another year, as well as Mark “always a bridesmaid” Martin. I’m pulling for that guy, really! But probably the highlight of this year’s race was the out of nowhere charge from Dale Earnhardt Junior who, in a rarely seen burst of Senior attitude, went from 10th to 2nd in the last lap. That was a nailbiter to be sure, accompanied by the screaming of 200,000 people who also charged, to their feet. I have no doubt in my mind that if there had been just one more lap, Junior would have won the Daytona 500 this year. However, his post race interview disappointed me greatly. Again, he reverted to that attitude of being depressed about not winning. He had an amazing charge from 10th to 2nd and he couldn’t even be happy about it. That was kind of irritating, especially after his horrible year last year, he should have been dancing to have come in 2nd. Seriously, Junior, cut yourself some slack! You did great! I’ll be talking about that charge all season!