Daytona celebrates Independence Day NASCAR Style
Nothing is better than Daytona under the lights, and to have that race on a long weekend, celebrating July 4th, is even better.
Many of the cars have special paint schemes for the race, on both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup sides. Many are red, white and blue themed, and some are just throwbacks to earlier years.
This year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is using a throwback theme, and he has openly said he is determined to win Saturday night, to get the Daytona sweep for 2014.
It is certainly possible.
Dale Jr. spent part of today filming a commercial for next year's Daytona 500. Along the way he took the time to do this:
In his way, however, are 42 other drivers, any one of whom could burst that bubble and walk away with their own victory. Things change in an instant at Daytona, and a driver who is leading one lap can be running 25th a lap later, with very little little actually happening to his car. If a driver loses the draft, makes a move into the wrong lane, or simply lets up on the gas for a split second, he can be "running backward" or losing spots within seconds.
The draft has always been a big part of Daytona, and now that the "two car tango" is a thing of the past (thank God) we can see the draft masters at their very best. It was said that Dale Earnhardt Sr. could "see" the air, and judging by the way he drove a car in the draft, that statement doesn't seem too far off. The generation of drivers now on the track seem to have learned from Sr. and many can be seen side drafting as well as bump drafting and nose to tail. It isn't just an Earnhardt thing any more.
The Nationwide race runs tonight, on ESP2, starting at 7:50 pm ET. Tomorrow's Sprint Cup race, the Coke Zero 400, is slated to start at 7:49 pm ET (ya gotta love those times), on TNT. For those of you in Canada, this means you are stuck watching on TSN, with the same boring commercials repeating every break. I absolutely cannot wait until next year when NBC becomes involved in the sport.
Jamie McMurray was the fastest in practce yesterday, with the second practice being cancelled. That meant some of the drivers we expect to see up front, weren't. Dale Jr. was only 32nd fastest. However, as I said above, all of that can change in a flash.
By now it should be obvious to you that I'm picking Dale Jr to sweep at Daytona this year. But what about you?
Who ya got?