NASCAR Roars Back at Daytona


I have to admit, it’s a pretty good life. 

The Super Bowl was a week ago, and Daytona was yesterday.  Does this mean that, for the rest of my life, I won’t have to suffer through a time when there are no sports I care about being played, even for a week or two? 

Before I became a NASCAR fan, there was the time between the Super Bowl and the start of baseball season.  When you’re a kid, that’s a long time.  I didn’t care too much about basketball, and I still don’t, but I will watch some March Madness games.  After I became a NASCAR fan, there was a lull between the Super Bowl and Speedweeeks down at Daytona.  For some reason, the NFL season has creeped further out into February.  Starting time and bye weeks, I guess.  I don’t really care.  It’s working out pretty good for me. 

The racing yesterday was great, but the interludes to fix the track were not.  Over two hours of waiting on the track crew to fix a pothole in turn 2.  But the race did finish under green, and Jamie McMurray won the race, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a great move to get to second place.  It was a banzai type move where he split two cars entering turn three and held on to get close to McMurray, but he had no real chance to pass him.  I held my breath for a second.  Or maybe I was burping.  When you drink beer, those things happen.

All in all, I was pleased with the racing.  There wasn’t a huge crash that took out 15 cars, although there were several multi-car incidents.  There was bump drafting.  There were incidents where guys spun out just because somebody got close to them.  There were 19 lead changes.  And my fantasy team did pretty good.  I would have been in great shape if the 11 hadn’t spun the 24 on the last lap. 

There were unexpected leaders and the usual suspects.   There were rookies and veterans alike struggling to figure out the tricky handling at Daytona.  And then there was the track itself, which had an issue with asphalt coming up in turn 2, right near a pretty severe bump, and on a seam between asphalt runs.  The commentators said it was the rain, but I think old DW was right.  The bump was causing the jack point to dig into the track.  The combination of seam, bump and moisture was just what the track needed to disintigrate at that point on the track.

I congratulate Jamie McMurray on his win.  I wonder if Mr. Roush might be thinking he made a mistake.  But it is Daytona.  We’ll know more next week, and particularly in three weeks when these guys get to Atlanta. 

It’s an exciting start.  Here’s hoping the rest of the season is as exciting.  Either way, I’ll do what I can to support the American beer making effort, and consume a few chicken wings.

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