The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the 2010 Daytona 500
After over 6 hours, another Daytona 500 is finally in the books. Jamie McMurray won the race, the 9th different driver in the past 9 years to do so. Along the way, there were a record 21 different drivers to lead a lap, from over 9000 passes. Here is a look back at the highlights and lowlights from the race.
Jamie McMurray. After being released from his ride last season, McMurray came back to his old boss, Chip Ganassi (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing), and came back to Victory Lane. McMurray is one of those drivers it is hard not to like, with a good attitude and an easy smile, he seldom elicits dislike in the garage or boo’s from the fans.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. After starting 2nd and dropping back into the pack, Junior managed to make a tremendous last lap charge and finish in 2nd place. After a dismal season, Earnhardt needed a good finish like this to regain his confidence.
Restrictor plate racing. We all know the reasons for it, we know the close finishes it brings, we know the excitement fans feel for racing in packs. But, it just ain’t racing. More often than not, the fastest car, or the best driver, does not win. Luck has as much to do with winning a restrictor place racing as anything else. The lead car can go from 1st to mid-pack in a matter or seconds just because the cars behind him split apart and the cars behind them follow. Once a car is left out by himself, no amount of skill or engine will prevent him from being passed. Another luck factor is being able to avoid someone else’s accident. We saw all weekend how cars will be taken out of the race by an accident from someone else. Of the top-5 finishers, only 1 was in the Chase last year. How many of them are expected to be in it 25 races from now?
The potholes. The race was stopped twice so crews could fix potholes. The first delay was an hour and 41 minutes. After the restart, the drivers could not even get a full load of fuel emptied before they had to stop the race again. Supposedly, the 2nd time it was repaired with Bondo. No one is to blame, we can’t control the weather, and we aren’t going to place a 2.5 mile track in a dome. It was, however, a major downer on the sport’s biggest day.