Nationwide Get’s It On

February 19, 2011
by Lee

Well, if you were looking for the recap of the Nationwide Race this afternoon, sorry about that. I had to play NASCAR pit crew with my car today. Replaced a wheel hub and a sway bar mount on the passenger side of the car, and yes it was fun had by all. Had some trouble getting the old hub off the car, which caused the job to take a lot longer than what was expected. Glad it is done though.

The opening race of the Nationwide Series at Daytona today in the Drive 4 COPD 300. Start of the race was good. Four or five laps have gone by with consecutive lead changes. The two car packs we have become accustomed to during speed weeks are back. Baby Joey Logano and Kyle Busch have mastered the switch of lead and pusher.

First caution of the race is displayed around lap 11. A car was hit from behind and spun. Collected in the wreck was Sam Hornish Jr. All cars in the accident probably can continue competition in the race.

Herdanicaship (A.K.A. Danica Patrick) is on her way to having a decent day. At the start of the race she dropped back to around position 20 or so. Herdanicaship has made her way back to the top 5. She looks competitive so far today. My concern for her as the race goes along is that no one is going to work with her. Not sure also she is going to be willing to do the two car hookup that is going to be required to win this race.

Caution flies on lap 24 with a mini big wreck. Elliot Sadler, who had a great run in the truck race last nice, has destroyed his #2 One Main car. Todd Bodine spun Michael Annett in the middle of turn one and two. Herdanicaship made a nice move to go high and avoid the spinning car of Annett. The big question at the end of the wreck is what was Mike Wallace doing. Wallace has a Milka Duno wreck in front of me and I do not need to use the brakes moment. Wallace slides into Sadler’s car and his chances for a win go up in sheet metal.

As a note, Carl Edwards parks his car during the caution as well. Edwards lost a cylinder in the engine, and decided to end his day. I want to applaud Carl for parking the car. New this season is that the drivers can only get points in one series. Carl will be earning points in the Cup Series. With the engine going sour, there is no need for Carl to continue running the race. This saves a future caution and will allow a better flow to the race.

LAP 31, Herdanicaship pilots the Go Daddy machine to the lead. Herdanicaship becomes the first female driver to lead a lap at Daytona in a NASCAR sanctioned event. Only bad part of Herdanicaship leading, it only lasted for one lap.

Lap 45, Carl Edwards has decided to come back on the track. Earlier it was reported that he would park the car. I give him about three or four laps and he will park it for the day. The car is still sour. In the end, somehow Edwards makes the car last the rest of the race. Edwards will finish the race in 29th.

Lap 56, caution for Sam Hornish spinning and catching the wall at the entrance of pit road. From this wreck we have learned that Todd Bodine has no business bump drafting anyone. Second wreck he has helped create today. Hornish did nothing wrong and was a victim of Bodine not knowing what he is doing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. penalized under caution for equipment outside of the pit box. Junior restarts in the rear of the field.

Halfway point of the race and it is a battle of Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, and Baby Joey. Those drivers have been up in the lead pack for most of the race. The race has been interesting to this point. I would like to suggest to ESPN to show us some of the others in the back main pack instead of the same four cars at the front. The reason those guys have been up front and a couple of seconds ahead of the field is because of experience. These drivers have more experience than the other drivers in the field with this type of racing.

With roughly 20 laps to go in the race, the field is cycling through green flag pit stops. The cars will be able to go the distance without another stop from here.

Caution with 18 laps to go for debris on the race track. ESPN did nice job of showing the debris on the track.

Caution with 15 laps to go. Brad Keselowski gets bumped and spun. Keselowski goes through the grass at the start finish line and then up into the pack. Three or four cars destroyed in the wreck.

For the most part, the race was decent yet boring at parts. Although that was the case, the final five laps of the race were incredible. Tony Stewart wins the race by 0.007 seconds over Bowyer. It was a great last lap with Baby Joey wrecking on the last lap. I have to say that I am not sure why the caution did not come out, but that is a NASCAR deal.

Overall the Nationwide boys and girl gave us a decent race with a spectacular finish. Herdanicaship even accomplished her goal of finishing the race in the top 15, she finished 14th. NASCAR is two for two on the weekend with last lap passes. You can probably combine the finishes of the truck and Nationwide race and not even have any more than a tenth of a second combined.

The Daytona 500 is tomorrow. Check back tomorrow afternoon for our recap.

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