Daytona - changes, crashes and rivalries as the season gets underway

NASCAR 2010 gets started with rules changes, continued rivalries and crashes

2/10/10 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

The NASCAR Season for 2010 will seriously get underway with the Gatorade Duels Thursday.  The starting lineup for the Daytona 500 will be mostly determined with the conclusion of the two races.  No matter where Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr  finish in the duels, they will have the front row for the start of the big race.  Dale Jr has won the 500 before, while Mark Martin continues to fight to win the Harley J.Earl trophy every year.

The teams were all on the track today for practice, and like last week with the Shootout practice, Joey Logano had troubles when Mike Bliss got into him and this time, the 4 time champion, Jimmie Johnson was also involved.  Also, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski obviously didn't make any New Years resolutions to avoied each other and concentrate on racing, as Denny Hamlin cut across the nose of Keselowski's number 12. 



Although it wasn't the worst move made during the day, the history between the two of them make it more noticeable than it might have been, were it two other drivers.  It may be nothing and the two may be able to race successfully on the track this coming season without causing wrecks or hard feelings, but with NASCAR relaxing the rules against retaliation and "emotional outbursts", that seems unlikely.

And speaking of rules, it seems NASCAR is changing another one.  Fans complained a few years back about races ending under caution, feeling that if they paid the kind of money they were for "races" they wanted to see a race....to the finish.  The result was the Green/White/Checkers we have seen for the past couple of years.  The rule has been that the teams will get one chance to finish the race under green, but that if there is another caution when that final green falls, the race will end under caution. 

Now, it seems, although details are sketchy and won't be officially announced until Thursday's driver meeting, there will be as many attempts as it takes to end the race under green, until the leader takes the white flag.  Not only is the rule change being contemplated for the Cup Series, but changes are also being considered for Truck and Nationwide races.  The idea is exactly what fans have complained about, too many races end under caution.

More should be forthcoming from Ramsay Poston, NASCAR Spokesman, before the Duels get underway.  Not everyone is in favor, but most agree it is worth giving the idea a chance.  Dale Jarrett commented,

"As long as we don't get out of hand with it.  Obviously these guys know that it would be never-ending until the end so we might not have enough cars to go on the last one."

In the meantime, racing will get underway Thursday, and a number of drivers, including Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson will be in back up cars.  And although neither Dale Earnhardt Jr. nor Danica Patrick actually did anything outstanding today, one or the other is still the top story on many sports websites.  Go figure. 
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2/12/10   |   evanshelene   |   2 respect

wrote:
I agree with you there.....of course, I hear the money is pretty good, so that prolly factors into their descision to run.

Yes, I think you are right when you say they probably need the money, just in case anything happens before the big one.

2/11/10   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

CRAZY_LADY wrote:
reason they races is theirs alot of money on the line just being in the duels and even just starting in the 500 pays real real good

Yeah, I just said that - they race for the money, because there is no other reason for them to risk their cars.  They have nothing else to gain by racing in the Duels - they cannot improve their positions from front row, the winners of the races start in the second row.

2/11/10   |   CRAZY_LADY   |   355 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I agree with you on that one.  If they have qualified on the front row, they should get a bye and not have to compete in the Duels - I guess the money is the draw cuz it pays a bunch to win one

reason they races is theirs alot of money on the line just being in the duels and even just starting in the 500 pays real real good

2/11/10   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I think they need to change the format for the duels. If you are already in it, like Jr and Mark..no need to chance getting wrecked in the duels.....I have long wonder what the sense of having the front row race in the duels for...(ok..that really doesn't make sense, but I think you guys get what i am saying.).....

I agree with you on that one.  If they have qualified on the front row, they should get a bye and not have to compete in the Duels - I guess the money is the draw cuz it pays a bunch to win one

2/11/10   |   evanshelene   |   2 respect

I can't wait until Daytona!!!!! That's my favorite.  I especially like to watch the try-outs. 

2/11/10   |   JenX63   |   32903 respect

I think they need to change the format for the duels. If you are already in it, like Jr and Mark..no need to chance getting wrecked in the duels.....I have long wonder what the sense of having the front row race in the duels for...(ok..that really doesn't make sense, but I think you guys get what i am saying.).....

2/11/10   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

The Green/White/Checkers rule has been adjusted and they will allow up to three attempts at the G/W/C starting today, with the Gatorade Duels

2/11/10   |   sherylsalaum08

kramer wrote:
We know that's not being a loser.  When you're on the front row for the Daytona 500, going to the back if you don't have a shot to win your duel race is smart.

hm nice

2/11/10   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

bwfc2good4u wrote:
I think I'm right in saying that if Jr or Mark have a wreck in the duels and have to use their backups in the 500 then they have to start from the back... So if I was Jr or Mark I'd be looking to stay out of trouble but surely being up front is the way to go. We've seen guys hang back and still get involved in wrecks but if you're up top theres no-one else to take you out.

If their cars are strong right from the get-go, I can see them running up front, but any sign of ill handling, I imagine neither of them will worry about staying up front to run 5th or 6th.  I can see the tail-end run being the order of the day. 

On a good note for Danica, she had a successful N'wide practice - stayed out of trouble, got some seat time and was 26th fastest.  Not bad at all.

2/11/10   |   bwfc2good4u   |   327 respect

kramer wrote:
We know that's not being a loser.  When you're on the front row for the Daytona 500, going to the back if you don't have a shot to win your duel race is smart.

I think I'm right in saying that if Jr or Mark have a wreck in the duels and have to use their backups in the 500 then they have to start from the back... So if I was Jr or Mark I'd be looking to stay out of trouble but surely being up front is the way to go. We've seen guys hang back and still get involved in wrecks but if you're up top theres no-one else to take you out.

2/11/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

wrote:
If he does I would understand.  Other will laugh and say "Looser".  I agree with you though!

We know that's not being a loser.  When you're on the front row for the Daytona 500, going to the back if you don't have a shot to win your duel race is smart.

2/11/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

wrote:
Yes, Danica Mania is in full swing!   I guess Denny is still carrying his grudge over from last season.  He needs to let it go.  Especially at Daytona!  I think JR just cruised around today.  He doesn't have to race his way in to the race and he knows that's a fast car!  I'm ready for the Duals tomorrow! 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Junior do what DJ did a few years ago, think it was back in 2005 when he won the pole and just fell right to the back at the end of his duel race.