NASCAR Daytona 500 - 56th Running

The countdown clock is at zero and it's time for The Great American Race

2/23/14 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Blog Photo - NASCAR Daytona 500 - 56th RunningThe Daytona 500 has the most convoluted qualifying process in NASCAR and I've said that many times.  How it all shakes out when the flag drops today is mind boggling.

Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. qualified first and second, meaning they start on the front row, however, Martin Truex Jr's car was wrecked in the second Budweiser Duel on Thursday night, meaning he goes to a backup car, and therefore, to the back of the pack.  And Truex Jr is only one of nine cars moving backwards before the race even begins.

That last lap crash in the Bud Duel took out five more good cars.  Michael Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Jamie McMurray all wrecked, and all had to go to back-up cars.  As a result, all will have to go to the rear of the pack.

Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte also joint hem, as a result of engine failures.  

The parade laps will reflet the qualifying positions, but before the green flag is flown, nine will drop back.

We've had a taste of racing at Daytona this year, first with the Sprint Unlimited race last Sunday, featuring 18 cars.  That race quickly became a race of 8 after a crash.

The first Bud Duel was relatively tame, with most of the cars using the race as a practice session to see how the cars would drive, but in race conditions.

The second Bud Duel featured a few more risk-takers, and the results showed that.  No calm parade to the finish, but rather last lap moves that resulted in the wreck.
Blog Photo - NASCAR Daytona 500 - 56th Running
Today will mark the first time in 13 years that we will see a number 3 in the race.  And of course, as if it had been scripted, that 3 will lead the field to the green.  As I sit here, in the exact same place as I sat 13 years ago, waiting for the race to begin, I'm reflecting on this history making event.  

NASCAR, Richard Childress, and even Dale Earnhardt Jr. have told me that I must embrace this new 3 and it's driver, Austin Dillon.  

As much as I have respected Richard Childress over the years, and as much as I am a Dale Jr. fan, I am also a Kevin Harvick fan.  I became a fan initially because of the death of Dale Sr., but Kevin himself kept me a fan, and I follow him to his new venture at Stewart-Haas Racing.  And when I think of the 3 and Austin Dillon, I can't help but think of Kevin's tirade near the end of the 2013 season.  I can't help but notice the twitter feed.  I can't help but notice the lack of support for RCR from Kevin or Delana.  Yes, there is support for Ryan Newman.  But it just isn't there for the 3.  Kevin said he felt the Dillon boys were getting preferential treatment over the other teams in the RCR garage, and he is correct.  Richard Childress even said he is correct.  He has been open about the fact that his team is there for his grandsons.  

And I just can't step away from that. 

Austin Dillon can drive.  There is no doubt about that.  But I'm not a fan.  I'm not happy to see the 3 back in Sprint Cup competition.  I feel Dillon has to earn a lot more racing stripes before I will be any kind of supporter.

Dale Jr's win in the number 3 Wrangler car at Daytona in 2010 should have been the "one last hurrah".  My opinion, but I'm entitled to it.
 
By all accounts the cars of Joe Gibbs are the ones to watch today.  Matt Kenseth isn't happy about losing the Sprint Cup Championship last year, and he is out to prove his first season with JGR wasn't a fluke.  Denny Hamlin is healthy, having avoided surgery in the off-season, and Kyle Busch is...well, he is still Rowdy.
Blog Photo - NASCAR Daytona 500 - 56th Running
Any one of them definitely has a car to win.  

The Hendrick Motorsports cars and the SHR cars with their engines will be doing everything they can to ensure JGR doesn't get to Victory Lane.  Then you have Roush drivers, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.  Carl has often been involved in last lap crashes, while Greg just always seems to be there at the finish.  Ganassi has Jamie McMurray, another driver who always seems to "be there" at the end.

What am I trying to say here?  Well, the long and short of it is, it's anyone's race.  

Will we see the "Big One?"  That's a question I ask at every single restrictor plate race.  The answer is. undoubtedly, yes.  Some times the wreck is bigger than others, but it almost always happens.  Who will trigger it?  It could be anyone.  The Nationwide race yesterday was relatively tame until the end of the race.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. triggered the wreck after the checkered flag, and said it was totally his fault, but he just didn't have any place to go.  Unfortunately, that is a common complaint at Daytona when the pack is running three wide.  Fortunately for the cars that were wrecked, Dale Jr is the co-owner of JR Motorsports and totally understands the cost to the teams who were wrecked.  Class Act that he is, he publicly offered to provide new bodies for the cars that were wrecked.  It might not replace the cars, but the offer will go a long ways towards supporting the underfunded teams.

Pre-race is about to get underway, and I'm ready to watch racing.  The season starts now, and the winner of today's race will also be the points leader, for at least one week.  

Who is your pick?
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2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

@DaleJr has 221,000 followers and he has yet to tweet his first comment.  I've been following him since the account was created, just waiting...

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Oh. My. God.  I am shaking so bad right now.  I cannot believe this .

Dale Earnardt JR has WON the Daytona 500!!

He made the smart choices! It was all him!

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Oh. My. God.  I am shaking so bad right now.  I cannot believe this .

Dale Earnardt JR has WON the Daytona 500!!

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

Congrats to Dale Jr, that was something!
 

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

Austin Dillon better calm himself real soon or he is in for a very, very long season

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Can we please send Dillon back to Nationwide?
 

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

ryan fricking newman...seriously..almost there

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

oh lord, keep racing boys....
and Scott made me laugh out loud and yell at my tv....
 

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Not breathing
Carl, Biffle (or as my phone types it, Buffleheads) Kenseth, Happy, Jr., Big Daddy, Kes and JJ all possible winners.

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

So far, Austin Dillon hit both Reed Sorenson and Kyle Larson in that #42.  The next replay the #42 will be driven by Juan Pablo Montoya

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Another wreck, this one caused by Dillon.  Multiple cars involved.  Fox keeps cutting to commercials, instead of side by side

Kyle Larson, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte :( all involved.

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

JenX63 wrote:
announcers making me lol, calling out numbers based on old color schemes, forgetting cars have changed numbers and colors...

Yeah, had no idea Richard Petty was in this race  wink

I am seriously holding my breath..  Oh My God! I feel kind of sick to my stomach.

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

Rain about 30 miles out.  I suspect the racing is about to be turned up another couple of notches

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

That crash is on Kevin Harvick.  He slid up just enough into Brian Scott and from there, it was on

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Clint Bowyer blew up.  Pretty dejected about it.

Lots of cars having radio issues because of the covers over them while it rained for six hours.

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Yeah, and I agreed with you too.  I think Dale Sr IS happy to see life move on, and his number on the track again.  I'm also totally stoked to see the Labonte brothers racing.  Always been a fan, and always been a fan of Dale Jarrett (who can forget the Dale and Dale show)  

I have so many races from the '90's recorded, so I get to see them in all their glory.  After the last "Legends Race" at Bristol where Larry Pearson was so badly injured (trying to remember who the other driver was....unusual name...dammit.....I digress) I doubt we will ever see our retired drivers racce again, but I agree it would be wonderful!!

I really need to just step out of the past. So many great memories, and being able to relive them by rewatching the older races is fantastic. Just wish racing could be racing again. 

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

announcers making me lol, calling out numbers based on old color schemes, forgetting cars have changed numbers and colors...

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

JenX63 wrote:
totally agree with everything you said.....
 

Yeah, and I agreed with you too.  I think Dale Sr IS happy to see life move on, and his number on the track again.  I'm also totally stoked to see the Labonte brothers racing.  Always been a fan, and always been a fan of Dale Jarrett (who can forget the Dale and Dale show)  

I have so many races from the '90's recorded, so I get to see them in all their glory.  After the last "Legends Race" at Bristol where Larry Pearson was so badly injured (trying to remember who the other driver was....unusual name...dammit.....I digress) I doubt we will ever see our retired drivers racce again, but I agree it would be wonderful!!

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I don't have a problem with the 3 being back on the track.  I thought I could be a fan of Austin Dillon, but I can't.  That's my problem.  All the talk of how he is "up for the challenge" and "can deal with the pressure" because the number has always been his Grandad's number irks me.  As Mikey says, The number 3 belongs to Dale Sr., no doubt about it.  But I say, I guess it's okay for Dillon to borrow it.  I believe the stylization of the 3 should, at the very least, be changed.  It was Dale's 3, the way it is stylized.  If, as Austin is saying, it is his grandad's number, then put it on the car the way it was when his grandad drove it.
It just won't ever be the same, and I won't be cheering for him.  Never again can I raise three fingers in the air and have it be a measure of respect for Dale Sr.

totally agree with everything you said.....
 

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Fox is back on the air and the race should be restarting in about 20 minutes.  Even though I've been up since 5am to watch the Gold Medal game in hockey, I will stay up until the race is either called, or complete.
#ShoreNuffANascarFan

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

The rain has moved off and track drying has been underway for a while.  The race is scheduled to continue, I think, within the hour.  Thankfully the tornados that were anticipated in the area did not touch down at the speedway and everyone is safe.  

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

JenX63 wrote:
heart I only have one thing to add. I don't think the peeps are saying we "have to" embrace the 3 and the dilbert racing it. I think he is saying, he's "ok" with it. What it took to come to that place I have no idea, cause I tear up everytime I think about, and I was never a Dale Sr. fan. I do think as much as a competitor as Dale Sr was, he would be smiling that his "lady in black" is back on track. I don't remember him ever saying a number should be "retired" and on the other hand, if it brings fans, well then I guess I will hop along my merry way and keep quiet. 
I am thrilled both Labonte brothers are on track today (or whenever they get to racing) the only thing that could make it better would be if Jarrett came back for one year at Daytona. OOOhhh an oldies race would be fantastic. Good Luck to all the drivers, I'm going with Harvick for the win, and Jr for my dark horse....

I don't have a problem with the 3 being back on the track.  I thought I could be a fan of Austin Dillon, but I can't.  That's my problem.  All the talk of how he is "up for the challenge" and "can deal with the pressure" because the number has always been his Grandad's number irks me.  As Mikey says, The number 3 belongs to Dale Sr., no doubt about it.  But I say, I guess it's okay for Dillon to borrow it.  I believe the stylization of the 3 should, at the very least, be changed.  It was Dale's 3, the way it is stylized.  If, as Austin is saying, it is his grandad's number, then put it on the car the way it was when his grandad drove it.
It just won't ever be the same, and I won't be cheering for him.  Never again can I raise three fingers in the air and have it be a measure of respect for Dale Sr.

2/23/14   |   JenX63   |   33298 respect

heart I only have one thing to add. I don't think the peeps are saying we "have to" embrace the 3 and the dilbert racing it. I think he is saying, he's "ok" with it. What it took to come to that place I have no idea, cause I tear up everytime I think about, and I was never a Dale Sr. fan. I do think as much as a competitor as Dale Sr was, he would be smiling that his "lady in black" is back on track. I don't remember him ever saying a number should be "retired" and on the other hand, if it brings fans, well then I guess I will hop along my merry way and keep quiet. 
I am thrilled both Labonte brothers are on track today (or whenever they get to racing) the only thing that could make it better would be if Jarrett came back for one year at Daytona. OOOhhh an oldies race would be fantastic. Good Luck to all the drivers, I'm going with Harvick for the win, and Jr for my dark horse....

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Uh oh, who'd you pick?

It's a weekly money league. You have $100(not real money) to spend on 5 drivers and the drivers all have different monetary value. This week I chose Junior ($26), Johnson ($30), Keselowski ($17), Hamlin ($10) and Truex ($15). No, those values will change depending on how the drivers do throughout the current year. Those totals are based off how the drivers finished last season.

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Scott wrote:
I have the absolute worst luck when it comes to picking a nascar fantasy team.  

Uh oh, who'd you pick?

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Red flag for rain.  Expected to rain for about 45 minutes
 

2/23/14   |   Scott   |   54844 respect

I have the absolute worst luck when it comes to picking a nascar fantasy team.  

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Quickie caution and Matt Kenseth pits backwards.

And we get underway with a few cars having damage, including Danica Patrick.

Looks like Martin Truex Jr might have blown up?

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Kyle Larson hit the wall pretty much off the green flag, and pitted for four tires.  Denny Hamlin overheated and dropped back to get a piece of clear debris off his grill.  (Why do they spelle it grille? LOL)
And Greg Biffle is the latest victim of the wall.  


And caution is out for Larson.  His day just keeps getting worse 

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Mikey doing the "Grid Walk" and interviewing people is hilarious, once again.  Highlight of the pre-race show so far (well and his interview with Dale Jr)

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Driver intros underway......

Dayum! Get the race going!

2/23/14   |   Debi_L   |   11875 respect

Mikey interviewed Dale Jr. who says that if he wins the Daytona 500 he will get a twitter account.  If that happens, I have no doubts twitter will crash.