Monday, February 15, 2010

On Mr. Afterthought, passing below the yellow line, the first female(s) since 2008, good things happening to good guys, and may the luckiest guy win

A few thoughts and questions following Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes SpeedWeeks in Daytona...

-Bobby Gerhart has to feel like Mr. Afterthought following his win in the ARCA race at DIS. Gerhardt took the checkered for the sixth time - an ARCA record - but ask most of the media in attendance who won and they couldn't tell you. Of course, they were all there to watch Danica. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, but I wish more media would cover the event instead of that one particular angle. Of course, I feel the same frustration every June when many members of the motorsports media proclaim themselves dirt track fans for a night when many of them have never been to a dirt track race at a track other than Eldora Speedway.

- I wonder why Scott Speed wasn't penalized for passing below the yellow line on the final lap of his Duel race? We were only given one angle of his pass (for some reason the camera angle entering turn three, which catches everything that happens on the backstretch wasn't used), and although it was from a distance it was clear that his left side tires we well over the double yellow line. The simple fact that a pass below the yellow line could be missed - or ignored - like this is the perfect example for why that rule should be abolished.

- It's a real shame that the Truck Series race was rain delayed on Friday, but it made for a perfect day-night double header on Saturday. The Nationwide Series race was a thrill-a-minute, with numerous crashes spicing the event from start to finish. The most spectacular was, of course, Dale Earnhardt, Jr,'s wild flip down the backstretch. It was humorous to note that the "Danica Ticker" on the bottom of the ESPN2 telecast proclaimed Danica as the first woman to start a Nationwide Series race since 2008. Technically this may be correct because she took the green flag first, but Chrissy Wallace was also in the starting line-up. I do believe this was fixed before the end of the race, but it was funny nonetheless.

The Truck was was, for me, the highlight of the week. The race was as it is billed, the best of SpeedWeeks. Although the were a lot of accidents and too many trucks behind the wall at the end, the actual racing was as good as it gets at Daytona. It's a shame that the opening lap accident took out as many quality trucks as it did, and it's a shame the mid-race crash that took out Ron Hornaday, et. al happened too. But that's all part of what makes racing at Daytona racing at Daytona.

- Congrats to Timothy Peters on his win in the Truck race at Daytona. It wasn't that long ago that Tim was rideless and then driving for a shoe-string operation out of a two-bay garage behind his house. Sometimes good things happen to good people.

- The Daytona 500 was a pretty decent race. No real "big" big ones, although the delay for the recurring potholes was a real downer. The real shame of the race, at least to me, was that the final 38 laps weren't all run under green. That is a perfect distance to let the field thin out at the front and let the best car and driver get to the front. As it was, the multiple green-white-checkered finish worked perfectly (although I don't like that it's been limited to three attempts - do it how many times it takes!). It's just a shame that the winner of the race wasn't the best car and driver, but the driver who chose the right lane for a two-lap dash to the finish. Such as it is, Jamie McMurray did a great job over those final laps. It was great to see and hear the emotion from him immediately following the race. However, it wasn't so great to see him cut short his interview with Fox "to go be with (his) team." I understand the desire to go be with the team, but the people at home (and the people who pay the freight - the sponsors) want to hear from you too.

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