NASCAR Race Recap: The Daytona 500

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DRIVE4COPD 300
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K-FROG's Race Reporter, writing on all things racing from a "uniq...
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NASCAR is back, y’all, and the 2013 go ’round got started with one heckuva BANG!  We put Speed Weeks to rest on Sunday with the Great American Race, the Danica… I mean DAYTONA 500.  “Cousin” Carl Edwards showed us he can wreck more cars in a week than a Monster Truck does on Sunday SUNday SUNDAY, a last lap crash on Saturday turned Kyle Larson’s car into a terrifyin’ missile, Tony “Larry” Stewart went from winner to wrecker, and “5-Time” Jimmie Johnson stole the “Danica Patrick Show” in Sunday’s 500 with some help from Little E.

Where ta start?  Howzabout Saturday’s Nationwide Series Drive 4 COPD 300.  I don’t know exactly what the name means, but I’ve been known to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, so let’s just say someone spent a ton of cash for NASCAR to keep sayin’ that on TV.

Anywho, we were treated to some good ol’ side-by-side fender fisticuffs fer most of the day, but excitement turned sour comin’ to the checkers as Kyle Larson went from pilot to passenger when his car was launched high into the catch fence and ripped in half.  Thankfully he escaped with all his fingers ‘n’ toes, but sadly a bunch of spectators were injured by flyin’ debris.  And when I say “debris”, I ain’t jokin’.  700 horses of burnin’ hot Chevy engine ripped through the fence and landed just a freckle from the front row.  The right front Goodyear with wheel and suspension still attached ended up twenty rows further into the stands than it shoulda been, and some of the NASCAR faithful couldn’t move outta harm’s way.  My thoughts an prayers are with the two in particular who remain in the care of Halifax Medical Center.

DRIVE4COPD 300

Read more about it here or Check out pics of the catastrophe here

Tony Stewart ended up crossin’ the line first, but bein’ the gentleman that he is, his attention immediately turned to the fans in peril.  Them Yankees from the major news networks took notice too, and one of ‘em decided to point out his good behavin’.  Problem is, they also decided to call him “Larry Stewart”.  Maybe stick ta reportin’ on stocks ‘n stuff, and leave the racin’ to us.

On to the Great American Race.  It was pretty much doomed from the beginnin’.  Fer starters, instead of the Zac Brown BAND, we were treated ta the Star Spangled Banner by ONE OF the Zac Brown Band.  And nope, it wasn’t Zac.  Woulda been okay with that except the Thunderbirds were supposeda fly over but it was too cloudy.  And speakin’ of starters, they invited that James Franco guy to make the command, and he managed to blabber “Drivers… and Danica… start yer engines”.  Guess she ain’t a driver in his mind.  Probably a good thing she was already strapped in tight or she mighta had a few choice words for him.

At this point in time it was time pull those straps down tight one last time and drop the green flag.  And guess who was doin’ the wavin’?  Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis.  Yep, THAT Ray Lewis.  Y’all can insert yer “Murderer” joke here.  I heard enough bad ones on Sunday.  And if that wasn’t weird enough, that rapper guy 50 Cent was sittin’ on top of Ol’ Man Mark Martin’s pit box.  Now I’m the type that believes EVERYBODY should be a NASCAR fan, but I can honestly say that it was a pleasent surprise to see Fitty representin’.

I digress, whatever the heck that means.  So the first 199 laps were about as excitin’ as watchin’ a herd of turtles, except for the ladies gettin’ in an uproar when cutie pie Kasey Kahne wrecked out early and a bunch of people losin’ their bets when Smoke and Happy Harvick both limped back to the garage badly in need of some duct tape after a dust up on lap 33.  Dee Dubya (Commentator Darrel Waltrip, fer you uninitiated fans) spent the whole time gushin’ about Danica this and Danica that.  To her credit, she did become the first lady to win the pole, the first lady to lead a lap at Daytona, and the first lady to lead a green flag lap in NASCAR, so there is that.  She played with the big boys in the top 10 all day, and eventually finished 7th, so I gotta say she’s the real deal.

After followin’ each other in a one lane parade fer two hours, Dale Jr finally decided to Texas Two Step outta line and go for the win, but Jimmie Johnson pulled out in front of him and used a big shove in the hindquarters to push him into the lead and on to victory.

I’m not the biggest fan of the #48, perhaps because their crew chief “Cheat” Knaus has a personal philosophy of “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t competin'”.  It could also be that I’m jealous cuz they always win.  Or maybe it’s cuz he does the lamest burnouts in all of motorsports.  Whatever.  Jimmie “5 Time” Johnson won again, so whoopty doo I guess.

On a side note, Carl Edwards managed to wreck in practice, in qualifying, in the Gatorade Duel, in Saturday’s Nationwide race, and in the Daytona 500.  Fer all I know he probably wrecked leavin’ the track that night and gettin’ outta bed the next mornin’.  Better luck next year, Carl, but at least ya kept the tow trucks busy.

I reckon that’s about it fer this week.  I’ll be back with a recap next Monday after the boys have at it in the Arizona desert at Phoenix International. Until then, as always, SHAKE ‘N’ BAKE!

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