Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series held their first race of the season, Drive4COPD 300 at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. 7 Danica Patrick starts the race from the pole with 60 Trevor Bayne next to her on the front row. 33 Tony Stewart is going for his fifth straight Nationwide Daytona win and his seventh Nationwide Daytona win.
Other Sprint Cup drivers in the race are 18 Denny Hamlin, 20 Joey Logano, 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in his own car, 22 Brad Keselowski, 38 Kasey Kahne and the Busch brothers. Kyle in his own 54 car and 1 Kurt. 120 laps around this 2.5 mile track will be 300 miles.
There was a combination of pack racing and tandem racing in the race. However, drivers quickly learned they had to have a partner to get to the front. 5 pushes 7 to lead from the pole. 2 Elliott Sadler pushes 60 into the lead. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. 33 into the lead. 30 James Buescher works with team mate 31 Justin Allgaier. 7 scuffs the wall. 6 Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. pushes 18 into the lead. 22 pushes team mate 12 into the lead. 87 Joe Nemechek pushes 44 Mike Bliss into the lead.
The first caution c0mes out when 81 Jason Bowles is smoking and they think fluid may be on the track. The leaders pit. 54 fixes his rattling side window. 1 and 33 lead or the restart. 19 Taylor Malsam gets back onto the lead lap. 20 pushes 33 into the lead. 87 pushes 1 into the lead. 28 J.J.Yeley is up in smoke but on the apron and out of the way.
The second caution comes out when 88 Cole Whitt bumps 7 in the corner, sending her into the wall. 54 turns 88 in the pits when he is getting out of his pit and 88 is going into his. He could have given 88 more room, as he expects everyone else to give him room. 54 must go back in or repairs. 18 and 20 are leading at the restart.
5 pushes 1 into the lead. 01 Mike Wallace pushes brother 09 Kenny Wallace. 01 is overheating and has to let go. 11 Brian Scott smacks down into 60 and 60 gets a tire going down. 20 pushes 18. The third caution comes out when 44 has to back off the throttle for traffic ahead and gets hit from behind, and into the wall. (There have been 18 lead changes among ten drivers in the first half of the race. The front nine cars stay on the track. 1 leads. 5 takes the lead. 2 takes the lead with help from team mate, 3 Austin Dillon. 87 pushes 1, 5 pushes 38. 60, laps down, pushes 22.
The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 11 is caught between 43 Michael Annette and 31. 50 T. J.Bell gets his lap back. 60 takes the wave around to be only one lap down and in contention for the Lucky Dog. Thirteen drivers have now led the race with 25 lead changes. 12 is leading with 01. 1 and 54 are right behind. 1 takes the lead with 54 pushing when 01 and 12 let go. 2 pushes 33 into the lead. 6 pushes 18 into the lead. 3 pushes 5 into the lead. 2 pushes 33 into the lead on the inside.
39 Joey Gase is up in smoke, bringing out the fifth caution. They make pit stops with 25 laps to go. 60 Trevor Bayne is back on the lead lap. 15 Timmy Hill and 08 Casey Roderick are on the front row and 15 chooses the outside. They restart with 22 laps to go. 09 takes the lead and 15 gets shuffled back with no help. 18 takes the lead. 12 gets into the wall and the chain reaction sends 11 into the wall. 33 takes the lead.
The sixth caution comes out during the commercial, The Big One. 54 pushes 1 up the middle where there is not enough room and everyone else reacts. 31 ends up on top of 52 Reed Sorenson. (Leave it to the Busch brothers to go where there is not enough room causing those around them to crash.) There is a splitter from 09 wedged under the wall that has to be removed, bringing out the Red Flag.
The Yellow Flag comes back out with nine to go and they go back to racing with eight laps to go. They are three wide for the lead, that is, six cars: 6 and 12, 2 and 33, 54 and 1. The rest of the pack behind them have nowhere to go and 12 gets turned, spinning in front of 5. Many others are involved.
For the restart, 1 chooses the outside to be in front of 54. 33 is on the inside. 1 and 54 pull down leaving 33 boxed in. The eighth caution comes out just past the White Flag and is another Big One. 1 goes high to block two other pairs and everyone gets into everyone else. Tony will not get five in a row. (Doesn’t Kurt know by now that blocking NEVER wins the race?)
30 James Buescher gets by the mess to win the Drive4COPD 300 race under caution. He was eighth when the White Flag came out. The win was great for Buescher, but it would have been a more exciting finish if Kurt had not blocked and the race went to the Finish Line. 2 Elliott Sadler finished second, followed by 22 Brad Keselowski, 19 Taylor Malsam, 15 Timmy Hill, 88 Cole Whitt, 33 Tony Stewart, 38 Kasey Kahne and 1 Kurt Busch. Brad, Tony, Kasey and Kurt get no championship points, as they are going for the Sprint Cup.
There was pack racing, but the drivers prove once again that having a partner makes you go faster. Despite what some fans may want, tandem racing will be in the mix, especially at the end. These drivers need to learn that blocking never wins races, but only causes wrecks.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.