The lesson of Daytona? Anyone can win!

P2140009 I had possibly the best seat in the house for all the action that took place at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks as I was one of the track announcers.  My “office” is directly above the start/finish line and the view from there takes in every inch of the 2.5 mile facility. What I saw from this prime viewing location was outstanding racing in all three of Nascar’s top series.

The Bud Shootout was exciting to the end with Kevin Harvick winning.  The Gatorade Duel’s couldn’t have gotten any better with Jimmie Johnson winning by six inches and Kasey Kahne by maybe 12 inches.

The Nascar Camping World Truck Series went down to a last lap battle between Timothy Peters and Brett Bodine with Peters bumping his way to the victory.

The Nationwide race was pretty wild (Junior’s upside down ride was scary as hell!) but saw Tony Stewart continue his incredible run in the February race at Daytona with his 5th win in the last six years.

Finally, the Daytona 500 itself.  The drivers really mixed it up and regardless of the pothole that had us all mumbling under our breath, the finish couldn’t have been more exciting with surprise winner Jamie McMurray and Dale, Jr. coming from nowhere to finish second.

You’ll notice that every race was won by a different driver.  We can also throw in how Richard Petty Motorsports showed strong efforts at Daytona.  Penske Racing looked good at times with Kurt Busch, the new kid Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish, Jr. showing much improvement. 

Richard Childress Racing showed strength in their team with Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer.

Roush-Fenway had their moments with Greg Biffle showing strength and David Ragan even running up front in the 500.

Hendrick?  Well they did take the front row for the Daytona 500 in qualifying and Dale, Jr did finish second.  Jimmie Johnson was strong until two cut tires and finally mechanical failure.

What does all that say?  I have no clue who to put in as a favorite heading to Auto Club Speedway in California this weekend.

Has everyone finally caught up with Hendrick?  Maybe, we’ll know more after this weekend when the racing is more of the “normal” type we see most of the Nascar season. One thing I do know is that what took place at Daytona the last two weeks should have every Nascar fan revitalized and yearning for more of that type of competitive racing every week.

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