I wanted to post this last night but I went to bed right after the race because of court this morning. Now, I have cellulitis – again – so I’m struggling to post at all. It was a fantastic race – after the rain delay – and an amazing finish.
Finally, after a record-setting rain delay of 6 hours and 22 minutes had turned Daytona International Speedway into the world’s most expansive parking lot, the true Big One occurred, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Great American Race for the first time in a decade. NASCAR Nation’s favorite son once again had his moment in the sun.
This was probably the most popular victory in NASCAR since Earnhardt’s father won his first and only Daytona 500 in 1998, on his 20th try. Junior has been in a notorious victory funk over the past seven seasons, winning only two times since 2006. And both those victories occurred in Michigan, far from Earnhardt’s natural Southern home base.
Like most every NASCAR fan, I love Dale, Jr. It’s nice to see him break his winless streak by winning NASCAR’s Super Bowl…
Don’t get me wrong; I like Jimmie Johnson, but Dale Earnhardt, Jr just missed out on the win, and Jeff Gordon finished 20th.
This was Johnson’s second Daytona 500 win.
Last year, the five-time champ wrecked on Lap 2 of the Daytona 500. This year, making his 400th career start, Johnson outpaced the entire field and won convincingly, holding off challenges from Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. Mark Martin came home third.
The 55th Daytona 500 made history days before the green flag flew. Danica Patrick delivered on a measure of the hype surrounding her by becoming the first woman to ever qualify for the pole in a Sprint Cup race. While she couldn’t initially capitalize on her leading position — Jeff Gordon passed her almost immediately — Patrick remained close to the front for most of the day. When she took the lead on Lap 90, she became the first woman ever to lead a lap under green at the Daytona 500. She entered the final lap in third place, and would go on to finish eighth.
An eighth place finish for Danica is nothing to sneeze at. That said, let’s see what she can do on the mile and a half tri-ovals. If she can succeed there, I’ll be more impressed.
This week’s Fantasy Stats are below the fold.
And she loves it. She really loves the pole . . . position.
Okay, snark aside, this is a pretty big deal. Not simply because she’s the first woman in Sprint Cup history to do so, but because she was faster and better than a slew of other drivers.
Nascar racing driver Danica Patrick has become the first woman to take pole position at the Daytona 500 race in Florida. Patrick, 30, also became the first woman to become the pole-sitter in any Nascar top division event – the latest in a long line of achievements for one of the most prominent women in motorsports.
Patrick posted a qualifying lap of 196.4mph in her number 10 Chevrolet, completing the 2.5mile-long route at the Florida superspeedway in 45.817 seconds yesterday.
She will line up alongside four-time Nascar champion Jeff Gordon on the front row of the grid this Sunday, for the first race in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series.
Look, as a NASCAR fan, I know she probably has no chance of winning – hopefully Gordon will do that – but like her or hate her, Patrick’s feat is good for the sport.
Well, that was, um, interesting. The 2012 Daytona 500 was postponed by rain (for the first time ever), and restarted at 7pm last night.
It ended at 1am.
In between, there were a ton of wrecks, a massive fire (after Juan Pablo Montoya hit a jet dryer during a caution), and dominant performances from Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. As far as the NASCAR Fantasy League? Don’t ask. I don’t think anyone had a good week.
And unlike other (mostly lame) sports, NASCAR has its biggest event at the beginning of the year.
Today is the 54th running of the Daytona 500, and once again, I’ll be working while the race is going on. Lousy career. On the Earp Ranch we all have our favorite drivers (I have Jeff Gordon, Kyle has Kyle Busch, and Erik has Denny Hamlin), and we’ll all be cheering hard for them today. We’ll also be cheering for last year’s winner Trevor Bayne, whom we met in 2010. Nicest guy in the world and a pretty good driver.
Unlike last year, carburetors have been replaced with fuel injectors, and that means there will be fast, close pack racing. It also means there will be wrecks that take out a wide swath of cars. Hopefully, none of my fantasy drivers will be involved.
I’m hoping for a good, safe race, and am looking forward to the season.
Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you.
In the Earp household, the Daytona 500 is bigger than the Super Bowl – probably because every driver has a shot, instead of the Super Bowl, where the Eagles rarely do.
So, since I will be distracted until about 7pm, and enjoying Kevin’s first-ever race, I wanted to let you in on some great stuff from the bloggers in my sidebar. Let’s rock!
Sebastian from Snowflakes in Hell gives us the newest “celebrity” to endorse Barack Obama. It’ll surprise ya . . . or maybe not.
Insolublog also writes about Obama, and how change for change’s sake is not necessarily a good thing.
Captain America from First In! exposes the plight of the lower-upper middle class (read: he and I), and how we’re about to get hosed by the city of Philadelphia yet again.
Pam from Blogmeister USA gives us tales from disgruntled conservatives and how we must “settle” for John McCain. Oh, and she published one of my quotes in the article, too. Bonus!
And, finally, B.C., Imperial Torturer, let’s us play “Guess Who’s Rioting?” at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Don’t worry, kids; you won’t need to study for this test.
Daytona Update: Jeff Gordon just took his car to the garage area. Son of a bitch! Oh well, it looks like I’m rooting for Junior and Jimmie Johnson now.