What a race! The Daytona 500 is always exciting, and this year’s race was no exception. When I sat down to watch the race at 1:00, I never thought I’d still be watching the same race over 6 hours later! Two things will always stand out in my mind when I think about this year’s Great American Race— the infamous pot hole and the exciting final 2 laps of the race.
The race was stopped twice because of a pothole on the track, causing an over 2 hour delay. As it turns out, it has been over 30 years since the Daytona track was last re-paved, and plans for a total repaving weren’t scheduled to happen until sometime in 2012.
The long delay gave viewers at home some time to stretch their legs as well as the opportunity to see some great commercials. One of my favorites was from Toyota Racing promoting their “design your own car” contest. It featured Kyle Busch driving a pink Toyota Camry brightly decorated with kittens, rainbows, flowers and “I Love You” written on the spoiler. He even had a pink fire suit to match the car. Very funny! Coca-Cola also debuted its newest commercial featuring several drivers singing the song “I’d Like To Buy the World a Coke”—the same song featured in its famous Hilltop commercial from 1971. The new twist on the old commercial features Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart.
Although frustrating, the delay may also have helped set up the exciting two lap finish. NASCAR changed the rules for the green-white-checker finish this season, allowing for three attempts at the finish rather than just one. Who knew we’d get to see the new rules tested in the first race of the season?! In a thrilling finish, Jamie McMurray held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a last lap charge to capture the checkered flag in the green-white-checker finish. Dale Jr. moved up from 10th place into 2nd behind McMurray on the last lap, but McMurray was able to hold him off and capture the victory. Those last two laps had me on the edge of my seat—that’s what racing is all about!
Looking forward to another exciting race next Sunday….