The Daytona 500 has come and gone for another year, and we take a moment to congratulation Matt Kenseth on his second career win in the Great American Race. We had to wait until Monday night in order to see who would come out on top in the race, but it was well worth the wait.
The Daytona 500 gave us some interesting things to contemplate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to kick off the season. It took one lap for us to see Jimmie Johnson’s race end, as well as Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. Others were involved, but you get the picture. Jeff Gordon had an engine erupt and his night ended early. All the talk is how the drivers going for the Sprint Cup and had trouble in the Daytona 500 have dug themselves a deep hole in the points. Yes, they are behind in the point standings and need to get a solid run this weekend, but it is race one of 26 to get into the Chase. In my opinion, it is far too early to say these drivers are in a huge hole that cannot be overcome.
No article this week would be complete without discussing the destruction of the jet dryer on the backstretch. It amazed me how quickly seasoned NASCAR fans on Twitter immediately blamed Juan Pablo Montoya for making some type of dumb mistake to cause the wreck. Fox quickly showed the video they had of the incident and you could see the sparks fly out the back of the car before the back end swapped. It was apparent that Montoya did nothing wrong to cause the accident, it was failure of a part in the car. I sometimes wish we were a little slower to criticize on the social media sites than what we do.
One area that I will not back down on criticism is with Fox’s coverage of the race Monday night. There were way too many commercials, and it was a joke they went side by side during the red flag and then back to regular commercial when the race was back under green. In my opinion as well, it is simply time for DW to get out of the booth and do pre race only. We could also discuss the over coverage of Danica Patrick on the broadcast as well. Hopefully the coverage from Phoenix this weekend does not suck as bad as it did on Monday night.
Speaking of Phoenix, the real season starts this week. We will find out who has the real muscle and setup under the hood and on the car as drafting and holding the gas pedal to the floor is in the rearview mirror. We still have some unknowns in Phoenix with the new surface and reconfiguration of the track. Teams will have notes to fall back on from last fall, but I look for a race that is going to be interesting. Teams will have to arrive with the right setup and make the right adjustments throughout the race to end up in victory lane.
My pick for the win this week, I think I am going to have to go with Carl Edwards. I think Ford stays strong this week and gets their second win of the young season.