Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jamie Mac Wins the Great American Race

So happy to see McMurray take the Daytona 500. There couldn't be a harder working, more deserving driver in the Cup garage... The guy's taken nothing but crap ever since he won in Sterling Marlin's car at Charlotte all those years ago. Firings, piss-poor cars, crappy pit crews, and Roush letting him go despite winning a race, because of NASCAR's new 4-car rule. To see him jump back to the Ganassi stable, this time as Earnhardt/Ganassi racing, and to fire on all cylinders right out of the gate is really special.

The race itself was a refreshing change from the last, oh, FIVE Daytona 500s... Yes, there was a combined ~2 hour delay to fix the asphalt on the track. But honestly, this has happened at many tracks in the past, in many series (including F1 and CART), and it's just an unfortunate accident that has to be dealt with. No one's fault, and nothing to get panties in a bunch over.

No rainout bullshit, no Big One, and plenty of passing, with a record number of leaders, and number of lead changes damn close to the record. I call that a good race. For the longest time it looked pretty certain that Biffle or Harvick would take the win, but on that final restart, Biffle gave McMurray the push he needed to make the breakaway.

And how about Earnhardt Jr.? Shades of his old man there, from 11th to 2nd in one lap--had he had one more lap, he probably would've taken McMurray on the outside and won the thing. He's gotta be happy starting the season off on the right foot.

Then again--what happens in Daytona often stays in Daytona, and is rarely a sign of things to come. I think McMurray and Jr. are hoping it is, though.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Danica Impresses in Stockcar Debut

So let's summarize:

Danica gets in a stockcar for the first time ever, shows up at Daytona, and qualifies as the fastest of six women in the field.

She spends most of her day running in the top 6, drafting just fine, not making any real mistakes. Doesn't get caught in the Big One.

Formula One Has-been and cheater, Nelson Piquet Jr, rams her into the grass in the tri-oval. She does one complete spin on the grass, locks 'em up and cranks it inside, keeps the car off the wall. The heavy, hard-to-steer stockcar that many people thought she was too weak to handle.

She pits to replace flat-spotted tires, restarts somewhere around 28th-30th place.

Her crewchief tells her there's only about 20 laps to go, time to give 'er. She puts the hammer down and drafts the hell out of everyone to make it back up to into the top 10.

On the final lap she beats and bangs with Ricky Carmichael, beating him to the line by a couple of inches to claim 6th position.

The woman can drive a stockcar.

But I'm sure the haters will still find some way to link her posing in a bikini to "why she didn't win the race."

In other news, Billy Venturini won his record 6th ARCA Daytona 200--the guy might have a real life strategy going on here: build cars only for super speedways, develop only super speedway engines and aero, show up, dominate everyone, take the cheque home and spend the rest of the year with your family.

Also, Kevin Harvick won a somewhat uneventful Bud Shootout. There was at least some good tussling for the lead between himself, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart, but as we all know the Bud Shootout doesn't really mean a damn thing about what'll happen in the 500, or for the rest of the year.

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