GET YOUR DANCE PARTNER: So the Daytona 500 played out pretty much like everyone expected, with two-car drafts the order of the day. That led to a record number of lead changes, and apparently a record number of cautions. The racing was relatively interesting though. Although two cars in tandem were fast, once they got out in front they seemed to slow down a bit, which let other two-car tandems pass. No one was able to dominate the race, and that’s always good for the fans.
CELEBRATING DEATH: I’ve always been uncomfortable observing the day that someone died, and that was true for the 500. That silent lap three nonsense was just that, nonsense. You want to pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt, do it at the race closest to his birthday at the end of April. Celebrate his life, not his death.
DANICA!: I’m still a Danica fan, but after Saturday’s performance, I have to wonder about her dedication to stock car racing. It seemed like during one of her radio transmissions, she was wondering why the car that had been pushing her suddenly wanted her to be the pusher. Hello? Danica, where were you all week? Did you just show up during practice and then leave? Why in the world did you not know (or did someone not tell you) about the two-car draft?
ANTHEMS AND FLYOVERS AND FIREWORKS, OH MY!: If you have a recording contract, does that exempt you from having to audition to sing the National Anthem? Apparently it does. Saturday’s anthem was performed by a pretty well established country artist, and she got some words wrong and just went too crazy with the melody. And Sunday’s was only marginally better. I’ve said it over and over: the National Anthem is not a song you “jazz” up with your improvisations or use to show your vocal range. You sing it note for note, word for word. I’m beginning to believe that tracks should just get the closest military band to come and play the anthem; they never screw it up. Regarding the flyovers, those were pretty impressive. I don’t recall seeing fireworks go off at the point of the anthem where it refers to it, so maybe people have finally stopped doing that.
THE GRAND NATIONAL SERIES: With NASCAR’s mandate of having to choose the series in which you’re awarded points, we the Grand National series will have a series regular who’s the champion for the first time in I don’t know how long. I daresay that we’ll also have a champion who hasn’t won a Grand National race. NASCAR should limit the number of Cup drivers in the lower series. Not awarding them points is just stupid, especially since they have “holes” in the points awarded (e.g. no one was awarded first place points in Saturday’s race).
THE TRUCK SERIES: It was good to see Michael Waltrip win the Truck Series race Friday night and for him, very emotional.
COLLUSION: One thing that I absolutely did not like about the Daytona 500 was the collusion among drivers. And that’s just what it is: collusion. It’s bad enough when two or three drivers who drive for the same owner talk to each other during the race, but there were reports that some drivers were able to talk to 10 or 15 other drivers. NASCAR needs to put a stop to this right now, before it gets more out of hand.
PHOENIX, EUROPE: Next week’s race is at Phoenix, where they apparently use the metric system. The race is the Subway Fresh Fit 500 which sounds more impressive than the Subway Fresh Fit 300. Hey, ISC, this is the United States of America! We don’t use the metric system here. Just how stupid do you think we are?