Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Speeding Bullets: 2010 Daytona 500



A race that was supposed to be run in complete daylight turns into a marathon event ending under the lights. Hope you enjoy the read...

  • Congratulations to Jamie McMurray on winning his first ever Daytona 500. He aligned himself with the right person in the right place and made his move at the right time when the race came down to its final laps. Greg Biffle gave McMurray the push he needed to propel himself to the checkered flag, a perfect example of the benefit of being on good terms with your old teammates. Jamie's tears in victory lane show just how much winning the Great American Race means to a driver and how blessed he feels to achieve his lifelong dream. It's amazing how changing teams from one year to the next can totally turn around a man's racing career... 

  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. coming from tenth to second in the final lap almost pulled off what Kevin Harvick did three years back. I really didn't expect him to be there at the end because he hasn't had too much success at Daytona in the past couple of years. The runner-up finish will help get his team and all of Junior Nation reenergized for the 2010 season, along with his optimistic attitude in the pre-race segment with Jeff Hammond. We can't get too excited about it, but hopefully it will lead to a victory somewhere not too far down the road. An Earnhardt win is the medicine the sport needs to boost ratings, ticket sales, and excitement among fans...

  • Kevin Harvick had the best car during the race and throughout all of Speedweeks, but a strategic error probably ended up costing him the victory. He made the right move by lining up on the inside where his car was the best. Where he went wrong, though, was on the backstretch, choosing to stay close to the yellow line instead of pulling up in front of McMurray. I am not saying doing that would have guaranteed him the win, but it would have put him in a much better position than the one he was in at the time because the other lane was moving much faster. In spite of this mistake, Harvick proved on Sunday that he truly has a racer's heart. Only a true racer would want to go ahead and finish the Daytona 500 while in the lead at the second red flag...

  • Even though Scott Speed ended up finishing 19th, I have to tip my hat to him for making such a bold move. He knew that it was virtually impossible for him to win the race unless he stayed out on the final pit stop when everyone else either topped off on fuel or got a new set of tires. Speed actually did hold his ground for a lot longer than anyone expected him to, and for a moment I thought he might possibly pull it off. But as had been the case all day, four tires was the way to go on every pit stop with the condition the track was in throughout the entire race...

  • Sorry Carl Edwards, but after all of Sunday's mayhem, I think that Daytona is going to have to be repaved. At first, most of us thought that repairing one pothole would be no problem, but we were all proven wrong because of its location in a spot where every car happens to run over it at 190 mph. When the hole broke open a second time, I started to wonder if the race was a done deal. That's why I have to applaud NASCAR for sticking it out and ending the day with a green flag finish even after the two and a half hour delay. It would have been really easy for them to call the race and declare Harvick the winner, but they wanted to make things right after the big disappointment still lingering in fans' minds from last year's Great American Race...

That's all from Daytona and 2010 Speedweeks. Next week is when the regular part of the season really begins out west in Fontana, California. It will be interesting to see RCR and Roush-Fenway Racing go head to head, two organizations that have looked on the bright side so far after both having a rough 2009...

9 comments:

klvalus said...

Way to assess those speeding bullets Gonger...

The call to keep Speed out there was impressive gamble. Wish Addington had made a few better calls - Kurt was sitting pretty most of the race but taking 2 tires then coming in with 6 to go just killed us.

Great to see some different faces racing for the win finally!

Gonger said...

Kristen- Thanks. I too was surprised by Kurt pitting with a couple of laps left. Not too good of a strategy...

RLGuido said...

Nice Bullets Gonger. It is easy to understand Mcmurray not being able to describe the feeling. Everyone on pit road had to be happy for Jamie.

Nice touch with Biffle walking into victory lane to offer congratulations.

Too bad about the track tearing up. They intend to repave it in 2012. Maybe they will do it sooner. Read that it would cost 20 million for the job.

In 1978 a pothole developed at the other end of the speedway during the "500". Bobby Allison who won the race said that his car was handling good enough to drive around it.

Nascar still has not gotten the monkey off their back. they wanted a daylight race and it still got dark but it was a very good event with great competition.

Gene Haddock said...

Great Bullets! It was lucky that the racing was so competitive, or a lot of viewers wouldn't have hung around until that fantastic finish.

I like Scott Speed, but weren't we all expecting him to cause the big one? Glad that he didn't, and he got some exposure and experience up there.

jmayer1843 said...

Always love the bullets. Harvick was not a happy camper after the race. Seemed upset with Carl Edwards for not staying on the bottom there at the end, costing both of them a top five finish and Harvick possibly a win. Hope the momentum from Daytona carries on these next few weeks.

Gonger said...

RLGuido- Thanks. McMurray is one of the few racers who has never really made any enemies.

Since it's getting dark even with the earlier start time, the Daytona 500 will probably become a morning race before we know it... lol.

Gonger said...

Gene- Thanks. I also kept my eye on Robby Gordon since he tends to be one of those troublemakers...

jmayer- Thanks. Can't blame Edwards for wanting to go for the win and realizing that it would be virtually impossible if he stayed behind Harvick...

jon_464 said...

Gonger, great Speeding Bullets! Edwards hung Harvick out to dry on that last restart and Harvick didn't have a drafting partner. This after Harvick and Edwards were drafting very well together. Perhaps Edwards thought Biffle had a chance to win and wanted to help his Roush teammate. But a great win for McMurray. Hopefully RCR can continue its early season success at Fontana, but they've not had a lot of success there.

Gonger said...

Jon- Thanks. Edwards wanted to go for the win, but I guess he decided if he had to push someone to it, he'd rather it be Biffle...

I look for both Kenseth and Biffle to be big contenders next weekend...