February 21, 2011

Rookie Driver Wins Daytona 500: In just his second Sprint Cup start, 20-year-old rookie driver Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500. In a race that featured a record 16 cautions and 74 lead changes, Bayne won the second green-white-checker finish on extended laps, holding off Carl Edwards. It's the first win for the Wood Brothers team since David Pearson in 1976 and its first Cup win since 2001.

posted by rcade to auto racing at 08:15 AM - 8 comments

Congrats to Trevor. Was a good race to start the season with lots of great wrecks

posted by texpat at 08:50 AM on February 21, 2011

Was a good race to start the season with lots of great wrecks

I personally thought the race sucked. Sure, if you watch to see guys smash up their cars like a demolition derby, it was great, but races like this are a good example of the problems NASCAR faces.

The ending of the race was terrible. You knew the drivers, after each restart, would not be able to go around the track and not wreck. As soon as the green flag was put up near the end, you had to hope the cars could make it around one time without all hell breaking loose.

The two-car drafting, teaming up, etc. is killing big-track races as far as I'm concerned. I've said it before on NASCAR posts that the team concept that dominates racing now stinks. I miss the days where guys were racing to win, not to help the team they're on get a car across the line.

I think an occasional crash is entertaining for fans, but this many cautions? A bit ridiculous. It's like Jeff Gordon was talking about after he was involved in the big wreck early in the race: Drivers today don't have any patience to wait for things to happen in front of them before making their moves. As soon as the race goes to green, guys are making stupid moves without a bit of regard to where other cars are. Good driving has basically gone out the window on large tracks in favor of driving up the ass of a partner on the track, or looking to cause chaos so a driver on your team, who may be farther ahead, can make a charge for a high finishing spot.

posted by dyams at 10:05 AM on February 21, 2011

I enjoyed the finish, but I thought the number of wrecks was ridiculous too. It is getting out of hand when you know that the drivers won't be able to complete an entire lap for a green-white-checker finish.

Was the pair driving new? It looked like a middle-school dance.

posted by rcade at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2011

Much of what we saw yesterday was predicted on ESPN early last week when the new restrictor plate rules were announced. I'm not sure I really understand it, but I think that caused some of the bunching up yesterday.

posted by yerfatma at 10:49 AM on February 21, 2011

Count me in to the number that hated all the wrecks. It was like watching a hockey game that wasn't very physical, yet every 30 seconds, the refs were calling some marginal penalty.

Was the pair driving new?

Not new, just rediscovered at Daytona, because of the new track surface. Pairs drafting was pretty much impossible in recent years because the track was so bumpy...cars couldn't hook up 2 at a time for long stretches.

And can we stop with all of the "Dale Jr is NASCAR Jesus" bullshit? He's a mediocre driver, at best. He's on THE best racing team, getting THE best equipment...and hasn't won in 94 races. It's been 10 years, people, give it a rest...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:59 AM on February 21, 2011

texpat: And THAT is exactly why NASCAR fans have a reputation for only watching to see crashes.

Way to live down to the stereotype dude.

posted by Drood at 02:51 PM on February 21, 2011

thank you, thank you very much (my elvis impression)

posted by texpat at 08:40 AM on February 22, 2011

Well played, Sir.

posted by Drood at 02:02 AM on February 23, 2011

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