Denny Hamlin. But it took a lot for him to get there. Including three major accidents within the last ten laps of the race.
So let’s talk about the race. I didn’t watch the Xfinity race, but I did see a lot of the talk online about it being full of dull, single-file racing like in Daytonas of the 1990s. Thankfully the Monster Energy Series race wasn’t like that. It seemed to be there were two quite racing lines on the track. There was passing. There was lots of back and forth and pitting strategy. During the bulk of the race (read the first 190 laps) the racing was clean, with a few little wrecks and spins. Before the last ten laps, the most significant accident took place at the entrance of the pits and involved Cody Ware, BJ McLeod, Tyler Reddick, and Jimmie Johnson at the entrance to pit road.
Poor Jimmie Johnson got the short end of that stick, because not only did he get the whole left rear quarter panel torn off his Chevrolet, but then he couldn’t get into his pit box because Tyler Reddick ended up nosed into it. It’s just lucky that Jimmie’s crew hadn’t gone over the wall yet if they had there may have been several injured crew members.
But of course, Daytona being the superspeedway that it is, we couldn’t not have “the big one.” That one collected or damaged approximately 19 cars in the running field when Paul Menard attempted to push Matt DiBenedetto but pushed him in the right rear quarter panel and ended up spinning him. He ended up collecting a few other cars and eventually most of the field. The big loser in this wreck was Stewart-Haas Racing’sAricArmirola who in the middle of the accident lifted the rear of his car and landing on another vehicle. Luckily no drivers were injured. There were two more wrecks after the big one that were “mini” big ones, involving multiple drivers in the field. Denny Hamlin, KyleBuschand Eric Jones ended up bring in first second and third place in for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Ironically Jimmie Johnson, who was multiple laps down at one point did end up making up at least two of his laps back thanks to free passes. That lucky dog ended up in the top ten.
Amy’s notables from the race:
While Daytona is the first race of the season, I don’t consider it a good indicator of the rest of the season, because it is a superspeedway. I don’t have a good feel for the rest of the season yet, but I admit that I am interested to see if this “uneasy” partnership between the Chevys and the Toyotas will continue or if they were ganging up on the Fords for the one race.
During one of the pit stops, Ryan Blaney’s crewmember cleared the front grill of debris and found a five dollar bill in the trash from the grill. Some poor unlucky fan will be missing that.
I was impressed with William Byron. Had it not been for being caught up with Clint Bowyer and others, he would have been in the running for a Daytona 500 win. I am beginning to wonder if the Byron-Knaus pairing wasn’t genius in the making. It will be something to watch.
I was also impressed with Daniel Suarez being up in the mix for a lot of the race. I will be interested to see what he can do with the 41 knowing what kind of car it was with Kurt Busch driving it. I guess time will tell.
Also, who gave Joey Logano a pair of brass ones? I saw him make several extremely bold, successful moves on the superspeedway during the race.
Next week we are in Atlanta. Who do you have? What were your takes on the 500?
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