Race Recap: Daytona 500

Posted: February 19, 2008 in Other Sports News

For those of you who missed the Daytona 500, you missed another exciting finish. But lets recap even further. Ten years ago, the most fabled NASCAR driver next to Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 after numerous attempts.

The hoopla for this Daytona 500 was all about Dale Jr. He won the Budweiser ShootOut and won one of the Duels. Could he pull off the hat-trick and win the 500? Well, as fate would have it, that would not be in the cards. It apparently was not in the cards for any of the favorites to win.

Like I said in my previous blog, the Daytona 500 is the biggest crap shoot in NASCAR. Next week at Fontana, one of the HMS drivers will probably win the race. But this week at Daytona, one driver who hadn’t visited Victory Lane in 2 years would capture the checkered flag.

On this fateful night, the Golden Anniversary of the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman would take Roger Penske to Victory Lane. Heavily favored Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Jr. would not take the checkered on this night. Jeff Gordon’s night basicly ended when he encounted suspension problems. Jimmie Johnson’s night ended when he was turned around by Sam Hornish Jr. Dale Jr. was able to pull off a top 10 finish, but couldn’t get the job done. Tony Stewart, the leader until the last lap, couldn’t finish the job.

On the last lap Ryan Newman passed Tony Stewart on the outside. The reason he was able to do this was because Stewart was unable to link up with new teammate Kyle Busch. Oddly enough, Newman was pushed by Kurt Busch, older brother to Kyle, to the lead and win. Another fateful event during this race, when Kurt Busch was able to keep his car clean before sliding through the grass on the backstretch. Busch was low, and then Dale Jr. cut low all of sudden, forcing Busch below the yellow line.

It was nice to see a guy like Newman back in Victory Lane, especially with Kurt Busch being a “clean” team player. Another big note of the night, Dodge claimed six spots of the top eight. Toyota took another two. The highest finishing Chevy was Dale Jr. at ninth.

Overall, depending on what type of fan you were, the body of this race was boring or nice green flag racing. The finish was exciting without a doubt, which is what NASCAR hoped that this car would do. Every time this car was used last year, we had great finishes, and if the Daytona 500 is any indicator of what is to come, it’s gonna be a great year.

Hot Rod of the Race:
The Busch Brothers. Kyle dominated the race, and Kurt pushed his partner to victory.

Can’t Catch a Break:
Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemecheck

Goofball of the Race:
Sam Hornish Jr., rookie mistake in taking Jimmie Johnson out
Casey Mears, too slow in catching draft from Stewart and Dale Jr.

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