Race Review: NASCAR Daytona 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida, USA
(1/36)
Held: 15 Feb 09
Watched: 1 Nov 09
Coverage: FOX 1hr edit*, aired on Five

* I watched the 1-hour highlights edition which is obviously heavily edited from the original race coverage. I’m not sure who does the editing, if it is from NASCAR, FOX or Five.

200 laps scheduled

Green flag. These cars may not be impressive but their speeds and car control required are, look how much they move around! Takes some doing to keep them off the wall, I should think.

Kyle Busch leads the early running, Harvick is also quick but some way back.

Spin on lap 8. Almirola. Replay: He had to lift in traffic and the car behind tagged him gently. Yellow flag.
L11 – Restart.

[jump]
L40 – Kyle Busch and Dale Jr side by side for the lead. Busch pulls ahead. Two lines of traffic all the way back, typical restrictor plate stuff, exciting for a while if you are new to it like I am… but then very boring when nothing changes.

[jump]
L60 – Restart, my highlights don’t show why it was yellow in the first place. Man in the pits shows us a tyre, VERY worn right down to the cords. Dangerous stuff.

L65 – All the cars are bunched up still. Commentary saying 33 cars covered by 3 seconds… while that is quite impressive, it really is just an accident looking for somewhere to happen. You’re watching through your fingers because a big crash is inevitible, that’s not what this should be about.

[jump]
L86 – Something of a bad edit and we’re on another restart, not told why, not our business. This is a need-to-know operation and we don’t need to know.

Chat with Joey Logano, apparently he was in an accident.

L90 – The weather has changed, teams are racing to halfway in case of rain. If rain arrives any time after half distance (lap 100) the race will be declared as finished with full points awarded. Rain is due soon so no more waiting until lap 180 to then race to the end, got to go now..

L93 – Earnhardt Jr missed his pit stall last time, had to go around and came out last but he’s working his way up the order again, he’s into the top 15.

[jump]
L111 (89 to go) – Single file most of the way back, four car break up front: Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Edwards, McMurray. Finally someone breaks away!

86 to go – Jeff Gordon pits after a long green flag run, commentary says people will now follow him in. Jeff goes a lap down with a green flag stop.
Indeed they do start pitting.. most of the leaders stay out.
During the pit sequence a tyre blows on the track, yellow for debris.

[jump]
L124 (77 to go) – Restart but no, here’s the big one straight away.
Earnhardt Jr turns someone into the field who try to avoid the car, but many fail.. Kyle Busch, dominant all day, is taken out of the race along with about ten other cars.

Dale was pushed to the inside below the line, coming back in he caught the back end of Vickers’ car when he ought to have lifted slightly to get more space. Okay so he shouldn’t have been blocked, but once he was he shouldn’t have moved up until he was clear.

[jump]
L163 RED FLAG
The rain has arrived. Replay of Kenseth taking the lead from Sadler.

Official – the race is over due to rain.

Result (top 10):
1. Kenseth (Ford)
2. Harvick (Chevy)
3. Allmendinger (Dodge)
4. Bowyer (C)
5. E.Sadler (D)
6. Ragan (F)
7. Waltrip (Toyota)
8. Stewart (C)
9. Sorenson (D)
10. Ku.Busch (D)

Not necessarily representative of the pace of the race. Harvick did pull himself to the front but Kyle Busch ought to have been up there. That’s just how this style of racing goes.

Points (top 12):
1. Kenseth 190
2. Harvick -20
3. Allmendinger -25
4. Bowyer -30
5. E.Sadler -30
6. Ragan -40
7. Stewart -43
8. Waltrip -44
9. Sorenson -52
10. Truex Jr -55
11. Ku.Busch -56
12. J.Gordon -61

I do not understand this points system, I assume points were accrued through bonuses.

Summary:
Interesting stuff from my perspective, the style of racing is completely different to anything I’m used to. I couldn’t watch it for three hours or more although I did try to do so live at the time, but this highlights form really works for me. The editing could be better – we need to know why things like restarts are happening, not just that they are.

I’ll continue this series of race reviews over the off-season, although I’ll only promise to cover IRL, GP2 and MotoGP races, there will be a lot more but the coverage will be patchy.

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2 thoughts on “Race Review: NASCAR Daytona 500”

  1. What, you're not going to also do the other 35 Cup races? ;)Interesting to hear your take. Your reaction to restrictor plate racing is much like mine: for the first 10 laps, it's fun because…hey! It's a race! After that…it gets real boring, real fast, just watching 40 cars go around with not much of substance going on. Between that and the needless (and dangerous) mega-pack racing, it's definitely not my bag.

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  2. I'll do some! I've got a few of these highlights shows to watch but I have gaps, and I was wondering whether to post a review of the ones I do watch. I'll just see how it goes.I really like the idea of superspeedway racing, this pack racing though, it just isn't for me and I have no idea how they can fix it without neutering the cars. Tbh I'm the same with some IndyCar races..

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