The Frontstretch: Making the Grade: Not So Great American Race by Dennis Michelsen -- Monday February 21, 2005

Go to site navigation Go to article

Making the Grade: Not So Great American Race

Dennis Michelsen · Monday February 21, 2005


Pace Laps
Every race got an upgrade for the singer for the National Anthem. A “Local Singing Sensation” Friday, “Miss Florida” on Saturday, and then a former “Miss America on Sunday.

Honorary Starter Ashton Kutcher irritated NASCAR by using the dreaded words “Red Neck.” I guess I need to review my NASCAR history…racing was started by the Marquis de Queensbury and not Moonshiners.

What was that assault on the ear drums before the race? Brian Wilson was so off key he would not have made it through the preliminaries of “American Idol.”

Keep the big American Flag shaped like our great country and PLEASE get rid of everything else you attempted on this pre-race show. This was NOT the half time show at the Super Bowl so stop acting like it!

Race Grade: C
Except for the last 20 laps this was not an exciting race. The strategy and the last minute slicing and dicing saved this race from a failing grade.

F for Smaller Restrictor Plates
The time has come for NASCAR to dirty up the aero on the cars, similar to the Truck series, and bring back something closer to real racing.

D for Richard Childress Racing
The new season dawned with hopes of a big turn around for this struggling organization. But after the Daytona 500 they could not be happy that their best finish was 14th among three cars.

C for Petty Enterprises
In stock car racing as in life you need to first take “Baby Steps.” A 16th and 17th place finish was not Earth shacking success, but it is a big step up for this team.

B for Scott Riggs
While all the pre-race favorites battled up front, they had longshot Riggs to contend with too. The Hendricks power didn’t hurt his chances but this was one terrific job of driving from start to finish to come home fourth.

A for Jeff Gordon
Fox did a lousy job of showing us the pass for the win, but this team stepped up big. Jimmie Johnson came home a strong fifth place finish too giving Hendricks a strong one-two punch you can expect to see all year.

The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Dennis Michelsen and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

02/22/2005 04:48 AM
The 2005 version of the Daytona 500 was by far the most boring in recent history.

Why not put unrestricted four cylinder engines in those cars and have some real racing. It may take two minutes to get a lap in, but probably would get ten times the lead changes.

The misplaced half time show at the begining of the telecast left a lot to be desired. It’s just like NASCAR to bring in has-beens of the entertainment industry and try to pass it off as an exstravaganza. I guess they did get off pretty cheap though!

Over all the Daytona 500, for a lack of a better word, sucked. Ok… except for the final five laps.!

Charlie D.
02/22/2005 10:39 PM
I turned on the TV last Sunday to watch the Daytona 500. I think there might have been a race somewhere between the commercials. I don’t know if it is just me or what but it seemed that there was 5 minutes of video from the track and then 3 minutes of commercials. Then, each time Fox would return from the commercials we would have to look at more promotions for other shows and look at faces in the Hollywood Hotel.

Somewhere between all that I guess there was a race. Oh, for the days of ESPN and Bob, Bennie, and Ned with Jerry in the pits.
Hans Petty
02/23/2005 08:53 AM
It takes nascar 6 laps to clear a wreaked car and 12 to remove a piece of “debris” This is more Big time wrestling then racing, they made there own TV time-outs. Notices how all cars pitted before each “debris” caution came out. Lame, this sports getting worse year after year. How many story book ending to all of the sage of nascar can we have. The first race back for the 3 car it wins, then dale winning at the track that took his dad life and so on and so on .They have the ability and use it to manipulate the out come of the races. If you are asking your self what story book ending I am talking about see the 20 greatest moments of nascar on Country music channel. Peace out Hans


Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.