Coming out of Turn 4…
I must say last night’s race was a good one. With only 70 laps to the race, everyone was going to be driving wide open. The first segment of 20 laps was not that exciting to me. I think everyone was feeling everything out. It was the next phase of the race that would prove to be the most exciting. Jeff Gordon was the first causality of the night. Of course this really didn’t upset me all that much. There was only one caution (there was a mandatory one–doesn’t count) during the night for debris. I knew it was at this point Tony was going to make his move. He did put a little bump on Kyle, but it’s all good from this racing fan’s point of view–rubbin’ is racin’. Once Tony took control of the race it was all over with. Of course Daytona wouldn’t be Daytona without a crash. As Tony was headed towards the finish line, Dale Jr. tapped Elliott from the back. And well, let’s just say there was some carnage on the front stretch. Evernham didn’t fair too well last night, he lost two cars…Elliott and Kasey in that late crash.
I do have to give major props to David Gilliland for finishing second in the shootout. This was his first race on the Daytona track since taking over the #38 after Elliott Sadler went to Evernham. I don’t believe David could have overtaken Tony. It’s one thing to catch Tony, it’s a whole other ball game when you want to pass him.
I am hoping Tony can bottle this success for qualifying and the race next Sunday. I would love to see Tony win his first Daytona 500 next Sunday.
I was reading something online last night and noticed next Sunday will be 6 years to the day NASCAR Nation lost one of its greatest ambassadors–Dale Earnhardt Sr. We miss you Dale!
The big question last night of course was how was Toyota to perform. I don’t think last night was a true test how how Toyota will perform next Sunday. There were only 21 cars out on the track, only 70 laps to the race, and no points were involved. Next Sunday will be more of test for the new manufacturer.
It was a little strange to see Mark Martin in the #01 Army car. I will always still think of him as the #6 driver. It is sort of how Rusty fans feel. He will always be the #2 in their hearts. Speaking of the #2 car, I have to admit it, but I kind of liked the #2 gold car. You can definitely pick it out among the racers. Speaking of picking out race cars, I will have to keep in mind the difference between Kasey and Elliott’s cars. Elliott has the red hood while Kasey’s is the white hood. Even the announcers struggled with this last night…when they were showing on board camera footage of the race, they mistakenly said they were seeing it from Elliott’s car when in fact it was actually Kasey’s car. Oh well…this was the first broadcast of the season for Fox.
There was an added bonus for me last night…I was able to crank it up and listen to the race using my surround sound...AWESOME!!!!
I will be watching qualifying today to see if Tony can capture the pole for Daytona.
Only 7 days everyone!!! 7 days!!!