I have to say, I was most definitely surprised how Daytona unfolded. I didn’t get to watch much of the race due to the fact I was spending some quality time with some wonderful friends and family in New Mexico. However, I was able to listen in on Channel 128 on my Sirius radio throughout the day.
As the day started I had high hopes for Tony. Afater all he came thisclose to winning his dual race and won his third Nationwide race in a row on Saturday. Tony has won pretty much everything you can at Daytona except for the elusive 500. But it just wasn’t meant to be this year. Tony had a rough go of it on Sunday. I wish had been able to see what had happened to his car and why he ended up 22nd after starting in 6th. It was also a rough night for the other Stewart Haas Racing team as well. Ryan Newman finished 34th. But I have to remember this is race #1. There’s quite a bit of racing before the Chase begins.
I was so excited about Jamie McMurray winning his first Daytona 500. He was essentially let go last season from the #26 over at Roush Racing. This was due to the fact Roush needed to get to the four race team limit and well Jamie was at the short end of the stick. Jamie ended up back with his former team at Ganassi-Earhardt to drive the #1. Was Jamie’s win a surprsie to everyone? To me no. The #1 has always run good at restrictor plate races. Let’s just say it was a pleasant surprise.
Since I didn’t get to post on Monday because I was on the road and didn’t have my computer, I am going to hit the highlights of Speed Weeks.
1. Danica Patrick–she did a pretty good job in both the ARCA and Nationwide races. She is still learning the ropes with this type of car. I like the fact that she didn’t come in and say “Here I am” . I am going to go out in win “x” number of races and compete for the title. Nope…she understands how hard the car is to drive and she repsects the drivers who are already in the sport. She is asking questions and taking advice from her crew chief, owner, and fellow drivers. I can see myself becoming a fan of hers. What I hope doesn’t happen is that because the media is pulling an all out blitz covering her, that it turns off fans. I think that is part of the reason I am not a fan of Junior.
2. Pothole–I hated the fact the 500 was delayed for something such as a pothole, but these things happen. If you live anywhere where their is cold wet weather, you know what I am talking about. Crack in the driving surface, it rains, water gets in the crack, temperatures drop below 32 degrees, water freezes, makes crack bigger, 43 cars driving over it at high rates of speed, the track is bound to say enough. I do applaud NASCAR for trying to get the race in on Sunday. They were doing everything they could to fix the pothole and get back to racing. The cool thing about the delay for me was I was able to get back from White Sands, NM in time to see the finish of the 500.
3. Green White Checker–I was a little skeptical when NASCAR announced the new rule change. At first I was thinking WTF, but once I sat down and got off the ledge, I began to understand why they did what they. I am glad they set a limit on the number of greeh white checkers that can occur. I think 3 is just right. I hate having races finish under the yellow flag. In my opinion, let the boys race for win.
4. Have at boys–I am loving the fact that NASCAR is allowing the drivers to take care of business on the track. In my opinion NASCAR was getting too anal about things. Let these boys race. If a driver is continously beatin’ and bangin’ and wrecking other drivers, the drivers will take care of it. Trust me just ask JPM when he tangled with Smoke.
5. Baby Boom-Congratuatlations to Elliot Sadler and his wife on the birth of their son Wyatt. I haven’t seen anything on Carl’s little girl arrival yet, but I am sure it will be any day now.
6. Matt Kenseth–Matt’s crew was fired yesterday. I found this rather odd. I would have thought if you were having doubts about the crew chief you would have taken care of that in the off season. But I am not Jack Roush and I am not championship NASCAR driver. So I don’t even want to begin to speculate why this was done after the first race of the season. Talk about a complete 360 though. This time last Matt and his crew chief were celebrating their first Daytona 500 win. Sometimes NASCAR can be a humbling sport. All I know Jack isn’t afraid to fire or make changes, just ask Kurt Busch.
And finally….today, 9 years ago, the sport of NASCAR lost its beacon–Dale Earnhardt Sr. I still miss seeing the #3 out there on the track. I did, however, see a little bit of Earnhardt Sr., in the move the his son made in the last laps of the 500 on Sunday. I am not a fan of Junior, but I have to give him his kudos for that hell of move he made to get to the front of the pack. We still miss The Intimidator. Rest in Peace #3.