NASCAR 2011 Daytona 500


Anybody catch the "Great American Race" yesterday. It was a record setting day on a number of accounts.

Here is the list.

The 74 lead changes was a record.
The 22 different leaders was a record.
The 16 caution flags was a record.
A 20 year old winning was a record.

The 20 year old, Trevor Bayne, is 5 years younger than the previous record-holder Jeff Gordon.

It was a marathon race, actually covering 520 miles due to NASCAR's Green-White-Checker overtime finishes, lasting for over four hours, becoming the 2nd slowest Daytona 500 ever. But it was an exciting and memorable one.

Bayne ran near the front for nearly the entire distance, partnering with a number of drivers in the new style of tandem-drafting that became possible this year at Daytona because of the track being resurfaced. This "2 car draft" technique allowed cars to go 15-20 MPH faster when running nose to tail, than by themselves. It also set the stage for the 16 yellow flags. When cars run inches apart (often hitting each other) around the entire circuit at nearly 200 MPH, there is bound to be a multitude of wrecks.

Another interesting aspect of this race was the introduction of Car to Car radio transmissions. Because of the necessity to work with other drivers in tandems, many teams implemented radio setups that allowed the drivers to communicate with each other on the track. At times it got a little silly, with drivers opting to pair up with the guy who "asked first", as if they were at a grade-school dance. But I suppose when you're dancing that close at 200 MPH, you'd want to know that persons intentions.

If one can get past the inordinate amount of caution periods, the racing was excellent, and quite frankly, I don't think anybody had any idea of who was going to win this race until the final inch.
I read the race report and realised it was a pretty big deal Bayne taking the win! That's his career set then! Good job him. I have the highlights ready to watch after work...
Funny thing about this win is that he doesn't even get the championship points, as he officially registered as a Nationwide Series driver, not a Sprint Cup driver. This is the first year that they've made drivers decide what series they want to earn points in. It was a move made to allow more younger drivers a seat in the Nationwide series. He was lobbying in the press conference to the NASCAR head to allow him to change his designation, but that's not going to happen. He won't even be driving a full schedule this year.

He will collect the nearly 1.5 Million dollar purse though!
With my best Homer voice - Doh!

Never the less, his career is now set for life i should think, sponsors will be queuing up to push him forward, surely.
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