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Daytona Week Racindeals

February 15th, 2010

DANICA WHO?: Watched the Danica Patrick Nationwide Race on Saturday. I think some guy named Stewart won, but the race was dominated by Danica Patrick.

Look: I don’t have anything against Danica Patrick. I hope she’s successful in NASCAR. But you know and I know that she wouldn’t be getting 1/10th the attention she’s getting if she was ugly (or a guy). She’s an above average IndyCar driver who’s managed to get one victory in all her IndyCar starts. And with a field of only about 20 cars, it’s pretty easy to get top tens.  I’d be more impressed with her move to NASCAR if she’s won a championship or two. Heck, when Dario Franchitti moved to NASCAR in 2008, he’d already won an IndyCar championship and a few races. I daresay that he got nowhere near the publicity in his whole NASCAR career than Patrick has gotten in two stock car races.

IN THE BOOTH: ESPN has to have the worst announcers in the booth of any of the networks. Keep Dale Jarrett and replace Petree and the other guy. Bring back Bob Jenkins, please! Buddy Baker would be good to get back into the booth too.

WILL THE REAL START TIME PLEASE STAND UP: Speaking of ESPN, they had the start time of the Nationwide race at noon my time. I didn’t find that out until about 12:40. I ran downstairs thinking I’d missed the first 30 or so laps, only to find out that I’d only missed one green flag lap and they were under caution on lap four. So I didn’t really miss anything. Maybe ESPN didn’t get the memo to distinguish between the pre-race show and the race coverage. They should have said “pre-race show starts at noon, and race coverage begins at 12:30”.

And Fox wasn’t any better. I had the 500 set to record on my DVR, and the start time that Fox had was an hour earlier than the actual race. I know they want to get people to watch their pre-race shows, but I’m just not interested anymore. Ten years ago, yeah. But not today. And I don’t appreciate being tricked into watching it… and I just fast-forwarded past all that junk anyway.

MAKING THE RACE: I wish they would go back to the old method of selecting the starting field for the 500. With thirty-five guaranteed spots, it takes the drama out of the qualifying races. But I guess NASCAR got tired of some of their big names not making the race.

THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE: As far as the 500 itself goes, it was probably one of the better ones I’ve seen in a while. I’ll admit that I was wrong in predicting that NASCAR would chicken out on the larger restrictor plate, and I’m glad they stuck with the bigger one. Good to see another Roush refugee do good. And Little Earnhardt brought back memories of the fall 2000 Talladega race, his dad’s last win, with his move from 10th to 2nd.

LETTING THE DRIVERS DRIVE: I’m sure the NASCAR brass has broken their arms patting themselves on the back for “putting it back in the drivers’ hands”. But it never should have been taken out of their hands to begin with.

WAITER, THERE’S A HOLE IN MY TRACK: The Daytona track management should be embarrassed. Their “we’ll be racing in 10 minutes” turned into 100 minutes, and then they used the wrong patching material and had to stop the race again. There’s no excuse for that, at all. If I’d been at the race in person I’d have wanted some of my money back.

DANICA, PART DEUX: Next week is California Speedway, or whatever they’re calling it now. The Danica show will be on Saturday, and the Cup teams will run Sunday.

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