Thursday, February 15, 2007


Daytona Twin 125's

Well, NASCAR season is back with two of my favorite races of the year - the Twin 125's that set the running order for the Daytona 500. For whatever reason, the shorter 125's are usually some of the best racing all year, probably because the middle 300 miles of most NASCAR races provides an excellent cure for insomnia as a result of the ridiculous rule changes that NASCAR has instituted over the years.

Here are some notes from Race 1:

- Congratulations to Michael Waltrip for making the race. Having to race his way in, Waltrip's crew chief decided to go Chad Knaus on his car, which got said crew chief suspended and seriously threw Waltrip's chances to make the field in doubt. Waltrip wrecked Dale Jr., tore up his car, and still made the field. Quite a week for the Owensboro, Kentucky native.

- Obviously, I am bummed about the results of who didn't get in. My favorite driver, Bill Elliott, was driving the Huddle House #37, but apparently his crew screwed up and put a go-cart engine in the Dodge. Bill won't be racing come Sunday. Neither will Ward Burton, friend of VOLuntarilyConservative and new driver for the Morgan McClure race team out of Abingdon, Virginia. I lobbied for someone to give Ward a chance last year, and it has come in the form of the #4 ride. However, Ward's Daytona dreams came to an end when, while in contention for the transfer spot, Mike Bliss spun Ward into the wall. With two of my three favorite drivers eliminated from the 500, I will have to hang my hat on Tennessee native Sterling Marlin, who competes in the 2nd Twin 125 in a few minutes.

UPDATE for Race 2 -

- Race 2 was not nearly as dicey as Race 1. That's pretty much as predicted, since the stronger racers were in Race 1.

- Tough break for Juan Pablo Montoya, the Formula 1 transplant that led most of the early laps before a bad wheel bearing prematurely ended his race. Montoya will race in the 500 on Sunday due to being locked into the field by owner's points. I will be interested to see how Montoya adapts to NASCAR from open-wheel Formula 1 cars. Most international racing enthusiasts believe Formula 1 racers to be the best in the world, and it may be up to Montoya to prove them correct.

- Sterling Marlin, who was locked into the field on his speed, showed that he has a pretty decent car for Sunday. He laid off the gas on the final lap so that his teammate, Joe Nemachek, and fellow Chevy driver Mike Wallace could get into the field and keep Jeremy Mayfield, a Toyota driver, out. The move cost Marlin tons of spots on the starting grid for Sunday, but it showed what a team player he is. Gotta love Sterling - Tennessee's own!


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