Before I get going I want to apologize for how severely late this is. I thought Monday morning I was suffering from a hangover, only to realize I was getting sicker and not better. By the time Wednesday morning rolled around, I was in the Emergency room in Watervliet at Lakeland Community. Turns out I have some sort of virus and just have to suck it up and ride through it. Which I’ve been doing with the aid of my bed…I love you bed…you’re…you’re my friend…thank you for being my friend. And a couple of other people who will remain nameless, thanks to you too. Now on with the show!
Dale Jr. wins 2nd Daytona 500
The Daytona 500 was basically two races. The first 38 laps was follow the leader and everyone place nice. For the most part, everyone did. That was partially because everyone knew the one word the ruins all races, was on its way. That one word, rain, came and delayed the Daytona 500 by 6 hours and twenty-two minutes! It was the longest rain delay in Daytona 500 history.
Now remember in that first paragraph I said the 500 was two races? Well, this is where race two started and action picked up! Many teams feared this was simply going to be the Daytona 250. What does that mean, you ask? Race half to make it official so we have no more delays in the race.
While the 88 team didn’t believe more rain was coming, the driver still raced with urgency. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle spent several laps trading the first position back and forth as Dale used his Hendrick teammates and other cars to break them apart.
With four to go and all cars running low on fuel, the race was setting up for a Green-White-Checkered. With an amazing push from Jeff Gordon on the final restart, Dale Jr. got out to the lead and never looked back as cars traded position in his rearview. He crossed the finish line taking the checkered in front of a wrecking pack behind him to garner his second Daytona 500 in ten years! Dale would also lead a race high 54 laps.
Also a huge shout out has to be given to runner up Denny Hamlin. He won two of the three events of Speed Weeks, and then had radio problems for the final 162 laps of the event. This also included having NO radio contact on the final ten laps. Let that sink in. He got all the way to second and nearly won on the final few laps with no spotter.
The Top 5 were: 1st Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2nd Denny Hamlin, 3rd Brad Keselowski, 4th Jeff Gordon, and 5th Jimmie Johnson.
The next race is The Profit on CNBC 500 Kilometers at Phoenix International Raceway. The race will come to us live at 3:00 PM on FOX on Sunday March, 2nd. The defending race winner is Carl Edwards.
Smith finds redemption
We all remember last year’s Drive 4 COPD 300 race from Daytona for the wrong reasons. Horribly, a multi-car accident left the catch fence destroyed and many fans injured. Some fans would take months to fully heal and we sadly had to learn another lesson through our failures.
The race haunted Regan Smith. Leading at the front, he was turned trying to throw a block in what started the accident. He’d often shouldered the blame from the incident even though it was nothing more than a racing accident.
When the Nationwide series arrived back in Daytona a year later Regan was ready to release the burden from his shoulders. He would do just that. The race would be largely handicapped by NASCAR’s new “No Tandem Drafting” Rule. It even made an example of James Buescher by sending him a lap down. It led to a mostly single file bottom line race.
Buescher would regain his lap while Kyle Busch would lead a race high 44 laps. However, it quickly became obvious you needed to be within three places of the lead if you had any hope of winning this race. On a late restart Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith on a jam packed outside line put up a fight. Side drafting as if his life depended on it, Regan Smith beat Brad Keselowski to line the by the 7th narrowest margin!
The Top 5 were: 1st Regan Smith, 2nd Brad Keselowski, 3rd Trevor Bayne, 4th Kyle Busch and 5thElliot Sadler.
The next race was the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 from Phoenix International Raceway. It aired today and was rain shortened. I will give more detail on the event on Monday. Here’s a hint on the winner: He’s the Vettel of the series.
“Rowdy” conquers Daytona
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 ran accident free for 75 laps. Then Fox Sports 1 went to commercial and all hell broke loose. In a 16 truck accident, it sidelined the race for a total of seven laps. At the front was Timothy Peters along with Kyle Busch.
It would become a ten lap shoot out as the trucks jockeyed for position through the entire final laps. Finally on a daring last lap move, Kyle Busch pulled out of line and barely beat Timothy Peters to the line to seal Kyle’s thirty-sixth win in the truck series.
The Top 5 were: 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Timothy Peters, 3rd Johnny Sauter, 4th Ryan Truex, and 5th Ron Hornaday Jr.
The next race is not until the end of the month of March for the Trucks.
Random Sports/Non Sports thought:
I’m going to bring all the news and notes in Monday’s column on the recap from Phoenix. I’m already working really, so unless I just out and out die I will be here on Monday! It’s true! It’s damn true!
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I will see you all here on MONDAY for a recap from Phoenix!..I swear…