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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pothole in my Daytona 500 dreams

I thought I would let the dust settle a little before commenting on this year's Daytona 500. There has been plenty to think about.

I certainly have little to add to what has already been said about the infamous pothole at Daytona International Speedway. It is too bad that NASCAR's premier venue simply wasn't up to speed.

But then the drivers were certainly up to speed and then some. The racing, when it occurred was much improved thanks to the extra horsepower the new restrictor plates allowed.

I was quite disappointed not to see an interview with Ryan Newman following his late-race crash with Elliot Sadler. TV viewers didn't even get to see what happened or how it happened. The whole incident was practically ignored. Newman took one hard hit into the wall. It would have been nice for the commentators to do an on-camera interview with him, just to let his fans know he was alright. Had Junior crashed, we would have seen cameras walking with him to the infield care center and back again to his hauler, with reporters tripping over their own feet to get the interview. This unbalanced reporting is akin to potholes in the racetrack.

Speaking of Newman, I really wish he would change his strategy. Staying at the back of the field until the late-race dash to the front doesn't seem to be working for him. I'd really like to see Ryan get out front early and stay there. He might keep his car in one piece that way too. I cringe when I think about the wrecks he has been involved in of late, and mostly through no fault of his own.

Sarah Palin at Daytona - gag me!

Danica Patrick in her first Nationwide Race - I wasn't quite as impressed as the gushing Darrell Waltrip. But I was pleasantly surprised, not at Patrick's abilities, but at my own emotional enjoyment at seeing an obviously capable, and yes, beautiful woman, wheeling her car for all she was worth. She did a very credible job. As a woman, she made me proud. I am anxious to follow her progress.

I am thrilled that the seemingly everlasting offseason is behind us. I'm relieved that the 2010 season is finally upon us. It is nice to return to the NASCAR routine.

Congratulations to Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, and Timothy Peters.