Hey you guys. This is my take on the Daytona weekend.
Friday was the Truck race. Kyle Busch won with 25 laps led, followed by Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter, Ryan Truex and Ron Hornaday, Jr. Rounding out the top-ten were Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton, Joe Nemechek, Jimmy Weller and German Quiroga. Pole-sitter Ben Kennedy was 15th with 52 laps led. Travis Kvapil, the 22nd place finisher led 3 laps.
Saturday was the Nationwide race. Regan Smith won with 35 laps led, followed by Brad Keselowski who led 11 laps, Trevor Bayne, Kyle Busch, who led 44 laps and Elliot Sadler. Rounding out the top-10 were Brendan Gaughn, rookies Ty Dillon and pole-sitter Dylan Kwasniewski, then Ryan Sieg and Kyle Larson, who led a lap. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., the 11th place finisher led 28 laps and 27th place finisher Jamie Dick led 2 laps as well.
The Cup had two more practices on Saturday as well. Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. was fastest in the first one, followed by Greg Biffle , Danica Patrick, David Gilliland , Tony Stewart , Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin. Kurt Busch was fastest in the final practice followed by Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex. Jr., Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. and Bobby Labonte .
Sunday was the Cup race. NASCAR's weird, my dad says to have their biggest race the first week when most sports have theirs last. They call the Daytona 500 the Super Bowl of NASCAR, since it's their biggest race, like the Super Bowl's the big game of football, which I decided I didn't like somewhere after my sporty phase I had as a kid (it started when I was about 7 and ended when I was 11) and by 17. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the winner (my dad liked that) with 54 laps led, followed by Denny Hamlin with 16 laps led , Brad Keselowski with 13 laps led, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson with 15 laps led. Rounding out the top-10 were Matt Kenseth , Ricky Stenhouse. Jr., Greg Biffle with 8 laps led , rookie and polesitter Austin Dillon with 1 lap led and Casey Mears. Joey Logano, the 11th place finisher led 2 laps. Carl Edwards, the 17th place finisher led 8 laps. Kyle Busch, whose finish was 19th led 19 laps and his older brother Kurt Busch, the 21st place finisher led 15 laps. A. J. Allmendinger, the 26th place finisher led a lap. There was a late race accident that ended rookies Justin Allgaier, 26th place finisher after 4 laps led, Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman's night. Kasey Kahne was 31st after leading two laps. Paul Menard was 32nd after 29 laps led. Trevor Bayne ran strong with 2 laps led but hit the wall late and finished 33rd . There was an accident a bit before this that ended the night of rookies Michael Annett and Kyle Larson as well as Aric Almirola who finished 39th after 5 laps led, Danica Patrick ,the 40th place finisher with 2 laps led and 41st place Michael Waltrip after he led 4 laps. Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex, Jr, who was Bowyer's teammate last year had engine issues that ruined their nights.
The Chase, which is like the Cup playoff will have 16 drivers with four eliminated from contention every three races with the last four standing at the final race in a winner-take-all situation then. The highest finisher of the four in that race is champion. The lower series still use the old way of most points all season. My two favorite drivers are possible contenders for their championships. Joey Logano, currently just outside the top-10 could win multiple races this year and be one of the final four. Trevor Bayne's a potential Nationwide title contender, if his MS stays in check. He's a well spoken young man and has one of the best personalities in NASCAR, so he could be a spokesman to help push to find a cure for the disease, I read somewhere. He's in second place six points behind leader Regan Smith. He needs to avoid the problems of last year, which were just bad situations that got him in a points hole, like car trouble and race incidents, as well as a penalty, so he can win and finish top-5 more. His performance is unaffected he says. He has a full-time sponsor now, Advocare and Travis Pastrana left Nationwide, but Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed are still around. Pastrana may have dragged the team down and not have been a good teammate, but Buescher and Reed who shared a Roush ride last year should be better teammates. They're full time now. Buescher failed to qualify at Daytona, though. By the way, my family has had some more personal connections to MS. When I was a kid, my mom took care of a neighbor lady with it. She died of a stroke and my mom got another job then, which she retired from just before Christmas. A woman who went to our church before she moved to Missouri's another MSer my family knew. She's in a wheelchair now.