Going into NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500, there were so many questions to be answered. Would Danica Patrick win from the pole? Would the new car bring great racing back to the 2.5 mile monster? Well the answer to both questions was a resounding no.
For months now, the new car has been hyped so much. It was said to be much faster, and much easier to draft. Well, the guys are R&D had the speed part of the equation down, but the whole drafting thing was lacking to say the least.
After Kyle Larson’s horrifying crash that injured dozens, the fence was repaired, and we were ready to go.
Unfortunately, for the first ten laps, there may have been hope that we could still have great racing throughout. Then, however, it became a 400-mile single file snooze fest, with cars racing single file. It was hard to close in on the car in front of you even if you had one of the better cars on the track, and took the inside line throughout the race.
The biggest problem with the car was the smaller spoiler. With the smaller spoiler on the rear deck lid, there was less air resistance which “helped” the car to go faster. The problem was that the cars started going too fast. Yes, there is such a thing as “too fast” in a sport that revolves around speed.
After the race, NASCAR’s web page on espn.com posted this headline: “Johnson Wins, Patrick 8th”. The site decided to make the fact that Patrick finished in the top-10 just as important Jimmie Johnson’s big win in the Daytona 500. We all can understand the importance of having a successful woman in a male dominant sport, but now it’s starting to get ridiculous.
To put it in perspective, Patrick drives for Stewart-Haas Racing, a very wealthy team with lots of sponsorship. She was beaten by Regan Smith. Smith drives for a poorly underfunded team with little sponsorship whatsoever.
Johnson’s success has not been that great at Daytona, especially in the Great American Race. Just last year, the man went only one lap and a few hundred yards before getting turned into a wall and having his day come to a crashing end. He has won the big race before, in 2006, but since then, his days on NASCAR’s season opener have been nothing short of dismal.
It will have taken a week, but if Danica has any promise in NASCAR, let alone in the Sprint Cup Series, she could start to prove it this weekend in Phoenix.
(Jimmie Johnson and his crew celebrate their second Daytona 500 win.)