Race Review: The Daytona 500

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Welcome race fans to the fifty-first running of the Daytona 500. This will be 5 Mark Martin’s twenty-fifth attempt to win the Daytona 500. Starting from the rear in back-up cars will be 39 Ryan Newman, 17 Matt Kenseth, 82 Rookie Scott Speed, 29 Kevin Harvick, 21 Bill Elliott, 14 Tony Stewart, 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. and 34 John Andretti. 17 Kenseth will start dead last in 43rd. The yellow out of bounds line is now a double yellow line. No passing! You cannot advance your position if you go below it. There will be a competition caution around lap 25 because there was rain last night and they need to check the tires. If they pit before the competition caution, they will not be allowed to fuel the car. Former Champion Bobby Allison throws the Green Flag.

24 Jeff Gordon pushes pole sitter 1 Martin Truex, Jr. 5 Mark Martin, starting second falls behind 24 in third. 1 Truex, Jr. leads the first lap. 5 Martin takes the lead. 18 Kyle Busch takes the lead. 29 Harvick is slicing up the middle. 12 David Stremme and 83 Brian Vickers race in the middle lane. The first caution comes out on lap 12. 26 Jamie McMurray got below the double yellow line and tried to get back in, in front of 8 Aric Almirola. 8 tries to stay off 26 and 6 David Ragan gets into 8 and spins him.

18, 5, 96 Bobby Labonte, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 99 Carl Edwards, 2 Kurt Busch and 11 Denny Hamlin stay out. 36 Scott Riggs gets loose in front of 20 Rookie Joey Logano, and they stack up behind them. The second caution is the competition caution on lap 27. 20 Logano tries to stay out to lead a lap, but everyone has to pit during a competition caution, so he comes in the second time around without leading a lap. He will restart in 40th.

41 Jeremy Mayfield comes back into the pits and they take a look under the hood. 99 Edwards goes low to gain three spots. 88 Jr. and 18 battle for the lead. 18 blocks. 88 gets a run on 18 and 18 goes high to block. When 88 looses momentum from the block, 18 dives low to keep the lead.  He better not do that too many more times, or he will be taken out. 31 Jeff Burton almost gets into the wall and falls back. They are three-wide for third. 34 John Andretti makes an unscheduled pit stop and goes a lap down. 66 T. Labonte goes a lap down. 7 Robby Gordon goes a lap down. 14 Stewart pushes 88 Jr. into the lead. 14 steps in front of 88 to take the lead.

The third caution finally comes out after 28 blows a tire and gets into the wall. They all pit and 88 misses his pit stall. He has to go all the way around and try again. 14 Stewart takes the lead.11Hamlin slides ahead of 18. 29 Harvick looses the draft. 24 J. Gordon and 14 Stewart battle for the lead. 24 takes the lead with a push from 18. 55 Michael Waltrip and 33 Clint Bowyer get together. 39 Newman pits with a tire going down. The car falls off the jack and he looses two laps.

The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 20 Logano pounds the inside wall. 82 Speed got loose and 20 checked up to avoid him. 16 Greg Biffle was right behind 20 and clipped 20 when he checked up. 24 J. Gordon leads them into the pits. Coming out of the pits, 24 is leading. They show footage of 18 beating 11 out of the pits, but somehow, they put 18 into the lead. They aren’t sure who is leading, so we go to a commercial.

83 gets stuck in the middle. And they are racing three-wide, six rows long. 88 Jr. pushes team mate 48 Jimmy Johnson up the middle. 24 dives down and 99 Edwards follows. They get by 1 for second and third. 11 gets behind 99.  18 leads at halfway. No one has ever won after leading halfway. 18, 11, 99 and 16 pull away. The right front tire of 24 is going away, and he pits. 48 and 82 also pit. 77 pits with much steam coming out. 24 blends in behind fourth place 16. The fifth caution comes out for debris and 24 Jeff Gordon is the Lucky dog and gets his lap back. The debris is from 12 Stremme who blew a tire.

88 has his right front tire barely on the line of his pit box. They service him anyway, and NASCAR holds him a lap. 19 Elliott Sadler is leading. The sixth caution is the Big One and 18 gets into it. 88 Jr.  and 83 Vickers are racing to be the first one a lap down. 83 blocks 88 and puts him below the double yellow line. 88 gets back onto the track and gets into 83. 83 goes up the track into everyone and everyone behind get into it.

The top ten now are 19 Sadler, 43 Reed Sorenson, 17 Kenseth, 31 Jeff  Burton, 44 A.J. Allmendinger, 14 Stewart, 5 Martin, 29 Harvick, 33 Bowyer and 1 Truex, Jr. The seventh caution comes out when 31 gets loose in front of 77 Hornish, Jr. 77 and 31 get into the wall. 98 Paul Menard lets up and 6 Ragan gets into 98 and spins him. 31 gets black flagged to go to the pits and take off the pieces that are hanging off his rear end. 44 and 29 push 17 Kenseth into the lead. 19 falls back.

The eighth caution comes out with 48 to go. 17 got into 43 Sorenson and 43 got into the wall. They stack up behind 43. 77 gets into 8 Almirola and 9 Kasey Kahne. 8 and 9 spin off. Then it starts raining and they throw the Red Flag. After a while, NASCAR decides it’s too humid to blow the water from the rain off the track and declare 17 Matt Kenseth the winner, since they raced more than half the race. A lousy way to end the Daytona 500, if you ask me.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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http://astore.amazon.com/i0861-20/

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