Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR racing begins at Daytona, racing’s Super Bowl. Qualifying for the Daytona 500 only secures the top two positions. The top 35 in owner points from 2010 are locked into the race. But everyone must race their way for starting positions in the Daytona 500. To do this we get to watch the Gatorade Duels.
The first race is led by the pole sitter. However, the pole sitter, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. crashed his car in practice after qualifying and had to go to a backup car. He will start his duel and the Daytona 500 from the rear. So, the winner of this race will start from the pole. They will have to make a pit stop sometime during the race to be able to make it to the end.
NASCAR made new rules just before the races. They were going too fast, so the restrictor-plate will reflect slower speeds. The Budweiser Shootout had everyone pairing up. So, NASCAR made another rule about the cooling so that they would not be able to push another car for too long without overheating. Ever mindful of the entertainment factor. A new gas can is in place so that the catch can man is no longer needed. That gives more responsibility for the rear crew to make adjustments that the catch can man made. But in these races, only fuel will be needed, as tires will not be a factor. Each race is 150 miles.
27 Paul Menard inherits the pole with 5 Mark Martin behind him. On the inside to start it, is 14 Tony Stewart pushing team mate 39 Ryan Newman. 29 Kevin Harvick hooks up with 42 Juan Pablo Montoya. The first caution comes out when 14 pushes 39 and 39 goes around. 14 pushes 5 into the lead and they pull away. 14 and 5 swap places and 14 takes the lead. 78 Regan Smith and 22 Kurt Busch catch 14 and 5. 29 Kevin Harvick pushes 17 Matt Kenseth into the lead when 14 and 5 swap places. 09 Bill Elliott pushes 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ahead. 17 pushes 29 into the lead.
22 and 78 go between 14 and 5 and 4 Kasey Kahne and 42. 29 and 17 battle 78 and 22 for the lead. 17 pushes 29 into the lead. 78 and 22 swap places. 42 pushes 4 into the lead. 22 pushes 78 into the lead. 42 and 4 pit for fuel. And the rest of the field pit two by two. 43 A. J. Allmendinger pushes 48 Jimmie Johnson. 17 peaks around 29 to cool off the engine and continues to push 29. 29 pushes 17 on the top into he lead. 48 and 43 swap places.
There are 18 lead changes when the second caution comes out. 66 Michael McDowell blows up as 17 and 29 loose the lead to 4 and 42. It will be a Green White Checker finish. 46 J. J. Yeley gets back onto the lead lap. 22 and 78 take the lead. 43 and 27 go between 4 and 42 and 29 and 17. At he line, 78 takes a look, but 22 Kurt Busch wins the first Gatorade Duel and will start from the pole for the Daytona 500. Pole sitter, 88 finishes 13th. 46 and 09 Bill Elliott race their way into the Daytona 500. Penzoil and Kurt Busch won the Budweiser Shootout and now the first Duel.
Duel #2 has 33 Clint Bowyer leading with help from 31 Jeff Burton pushing. The forst caution comes out for 13 Casey Mears who is not locked in the race blowing the engine. Casey will not race in the Daytona 500. 33 and 31 battle 18 Kyle Busch and 1 Jamie McMurray and 99 Carl Edwards and 16 Greg Biffle. 1 pushes 18 into the lead. Rookie 21 Trevor Bayne pushes 24 Jeff Gordon. 16 pushes 99 into the lead. 21 pushes 24 into the lead.
The second caution comes out when 20 Joey Logano gets run over by 15 Michael Waltrip and goes into the infield when 11 Denny Hamlin was pushing 20. 11 gets a flat tire. That leaves 18 without a dancing partner. 24 sticks with 21 instead of trying to push 18. 18 falls back to 11. 16 pushes 99 into the lead. 31 pushes 33 into the lead. 21 pushes 24 into the lead. 11 and 56 Martin Truex, Jr. swap places and loose each other. 16 pushes 99 into the lead.
The third caution comes out for 2 Brad Keselowski spinning. 2 hooks up with 92, brother Brian Keselowski. 33 and 31 battle for the lead with 99 and 16.
The fourth caution is for 11 spinning with help from18. Denny tried to go below the yellow line and 18 got into him. 31 and 33 get by 18 and 1. 33 pushes 31 into the lead. 00 David Reutimann pushes 56 sown the middle for the lead. 33 pushes 31 into the lead.
The fifth caution comes out for 60 Todd Bodine and 77 Steve Wallace with 5 laps to go. 16 gets by them. 00 has damage. There wee 22 lead changes, a record. They go Green with three laps to go. 18 pushes 15 and 15 races his way into the Daytona 500. 31 and 33 are together at the line while 24 gets loose in front of 21, gets into the wall and 21 goes spinning, collecting 6 David Ragan.
22 Kurt Busch wins the first Duel and 31 Jeff Burton wins the second Duel. 13 Casey Mears, 60 Todd Bodine, 66 Michael McDowell. 64 Derrike Cope and 97 Kevin Conway will not race in the Daytona 500.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.