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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Daytona relief

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Safety worke...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The only word to sum up the long-anticipated Daytona 500 this year is relief.

I am relieved that the Great American Race finally got underway. I'm relieved I wasn't there because sitting in the rain all weekend would have been nightmarish. And I'm relieved that real racing competition can finally get under way now that Daytona is behind us.

Who would have imagined that 2012 would be the first time the most prestigious race of the year would be rained out or that it would be postponed because Juan Pablo Montoya would, under caution, spin out of control into a jet dryer loaded with jet fuel? Who would have imagined the racing surface would ignite into an inferno?

The only thing that was predictable was the wreck fest that took place despite the obvious care being taken by drivers to prevent "the big one."

For that matter, why do we call it the big "one" when obviously that is an inadequate descriptor. Instead of the Great American Race, perhaps it should be named NASCAR's Great American Wildcard Race or NASCAR Demolition Derby.

Despite the word of the day being "relief," I have to say I enjoyed the weekend anyway. I didn't even mind waiting around all day Sunday, knowing in my heart there was no way 43 cars and 500 miles would be compatible with those huge dark green splotches covering Florida's weather map. I found plenty to do in close proximity to the television set, my attention never far away, just in case.

I should give a shout out to Fox Sports, since everyone did an excellent job staying on the air, keeping us informed. Since this was the first real race of the season and it followed a pretty eventful speed weeks, it isn't like they didn't have plenty to talk about. Then again, it isn't like all those guys don't like to talk about their favorite sport anyway.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth, by the way. Bringing what was once a boiling motor into Victory Lane was nothing short of miraculous, a real testament to Ford engines.