The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Daytona 500 Race Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday February 21, 2011

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Daytona 500 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin · Monday February 21, 2011


The Key Moment – Trevor Bayne got a great jump on the final restart and Bobby Labonte offered a vital assist, pushing the No. 21 car before Bayne blocked Carl Edwards coming to the stripe and pulled the upset.

Trevor who? Rookie driver Trevor Bayne put himself on the map by winning the Daytona 500 driving for the legendary Wood Brothers team.

In a Nutshell – They said with the new surface and rules, this 500 was going to be unpredictable. Well, it was all that and then some. About the only predictable part was an all-time record 16 cautions that yielded the second-slowest Daytona 500 ever.

Dramatic Moment – With each restart shuffling the deck and potentially separating drafting partners, all sixteen of them were pretty intense.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

Trevor Bayne? Where did he come from? (Though to be fair, he’d been running well all of Speedweeks.) Bayne isn’t even competing for Cup points under this system as he only has (had?) a part-time ride in the top series and thus opted to compete for the Nationwide title instead. Will NASCAR let him recheck that little box on his license after Sunday?

Editor’s Note: Jenna Fryer is reporting through her Twitter feed NASCAR would let Bayne switch eligibility going forward; however, no points would be earned from Sunday’s Daytona 500 if he does so.

A lot of fans I’ve spoken to don’t like this new tandem racing at Daytona. I will say this much: I prefer it to the old snarling packs of 34 cars running centimeters apart. Of course, somehow we still ended up with the “Big One” that decimated a third of the field. Plate racing has got to go. Friday night’s Truck race, while exciting, was a glimpse of the old style “pileup plate” racing and at points I wasn’t sure anyone was going to finish the event.

To sum up, I’m left feeling, “Nice result, but not a great race.” Agree? Disagree? Use the comments section below to respond. Yes, I want to hear from you and I care about your opinion… unless your initials are RG.

NASCAR has become decidedly politically correct. Since Bayne isn’t yet 21, the “Coors Light” contingency sticker on the side of his Ford is black with white lettering and the logo “21 means 21.” There was also no champagne in Victory Lane.

Will a more worn track surface and higher temperatures at Daytona in July yield less grip and eliminate the “tandem” effect?

Editor’s Note: Based on what we’re hearing from the drivers … probably not. One crewman said this type of racing, with the plates is what we’ll see at Daytona for the next ten years.

There were a lot of nice tributes to the late Dale Earnhardt this week at the track and on TV. Most were well made and respectfully done, though they still hurt to watch sometimes. But some media types and other folks need to get over this insane notion that Earnhardt’s death led NASCAR to immediately start to try making the sport safer. They fought SAFER barriers on banked tracks as a “cure worse than the disease” and didn’t require the HANS device until the week after Blaise Alexander was killed in a late race ARCA crash at Charlotte that October. Of course, that came after two drivers died from the same basalar skull injury in NASCAR during the 2000 season.

A kinder, gentler Kyle Busch? That kid better run before Mr. Busch hears those words and tries to win back his old reputation.

Did you realize some teams ran the entire race on one set of left side tires?

What was Robby Gordon thinking trying to bully his way back onto the track after getting crossed up on the next-to-last lap of the race? My guess is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Ryan Newman would like to discuss the move with him.

Did Jeff Gordon get away with jumping the start of the race?

Are we seeing a kinder, gentler Kyle Busch or do they finally have him on Ritalin?

It wasn’t a sellout by any means, but track owners and promoters have to be enthused by the crowds at Daytona much of the week.

Does anyone else feel that Saturday’s hour and a half of pre-race programming and pageantry is a bit excessive for a two-and-a-half hour race? Not that Sunday’s pre-race programming was a paragon of brevity, clarity and information. Looks like we’ve got the annual battle between DW and Hammond to see who can speak the most and say the least.

Am I correct that Phoenix’s new ticket promotion commercials can be termed the “come here and drink beer” campaign? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but some of those coolers look too big to get into the track and at least one young lady holding a Bud in the spot appears to be somewhat underage to these elderly eyes.

Again, maybe I’m just getting old(er) and cranky but I sure hope FOX doesn’t do the pre-race show in the infield grass again. One of my pet peeves is supposed adults making idiots of themselves and waving signs around so they can be “on TV.” Hey, any idiot can be on TV; Jeff Hammond and Chris Myers even get paid for it.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.‘s up-and-down Daytona Speedweeks stopped on a down note: despite a flawless effort by his crew, a wreck shortly following this stop left him 24th in the final rundown.

David Ragan led a late restart but got black-flagged for changing lanes coming to the green flag. Otherwise, he’d likely have won the race.

Earnhardt Jr. seemed to be able to work his way to the front anytime he chose, but cut down a tire and then got caught up in the wreck that caused the sixteenth caution flag to fly in “overtime.” It had to be a nasty shock for fans of his late father to see the No. 88 car run into a section of the outside wall that STILL doesn’t have the SAFER barrier installed. (He wound up 24th)

Current Cup champion Jimmie Johnson didn’t have a great Daytona 500; he got caught up in the lap 30 debacle and wound up 27th. But before you go writing off his title hopes for 2011, recall Johnson has finished outside the top 20 in seven of the last nine 500s, including a 35th-place finish in last year’s event. Maybe next year they’ll let him run the Transformer car with the armor and the weapons?

Kevin Harvick blew an engine and finished 42nd. It was the first mechanical DNF for Harvick and the No. 29 team since Dover in the fall of 2006.

Harvick’s teammate Jeff Burton also suffered a powerplant meltdown. It’s the first “double engine” failure for Richard Childress Racing in the same event since Michigan in August, 2006.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Tony Stewart won his fourth straight Daytona Nationwide race on Sunday. He’s now won six of the February AAA races there since 2005.

Mark Martin also tore up his car badly in the lap 30 wreck and had numerous other on-track skirmishes only to rally to a tenth-place finish, the best of the HMS quartet. At one point, Martin had been three laps down.

Kyle Busch was sent spinning off the front bumper of Michael Waltrip’s car just five laps into the race, igniting a series of contact with other cars while getting fully sideways in a huge pack. Eventually, that led to a flat tire, but despite it all he rallied back to finish eighth.

Juan Montoya spun to bring out the eighth caution, then tangled with Greg Biffle to produce the eleventh yellow but went on to finish sixth.

Kurt Busch made a pretty nice Speedweeks debut in his new colors, winning the Bud Shootout, his 150-mile qualifying race and finishing fifth.

Worth Noting

  • It was a good day to be twenty, but it also wasn’t a bad day to be a more mature former Cup champion. Bobby Labonte finished fourth, Bill Elliott twelfth, and Terry Labonte fifteenth.
  • Bayne tied Jamie McMurray’s record by winning a Cup race in just his second Cup start. He was the youngest winner ever of a Daytona 500 and the second youngest driver ever to win a top-tier Cup event. (The youngest ever was Joey Logano at NHIS while still 19. Donald Thomas won at Atlanta in 1952 at twenty years and four months.) Bayne is also the seventh driver to score his first ever Cup victory in the Daytona 500.
  • The Wood Brothers won for the first time since Elliott Sadler took the checkers at Bristol in Spring, 2001.
  • The top 10 finishers at Daytona drove three Fords (the top three finishers), four Chevys, two Toyotas and a Dodge.
  • Carl Edwards (second) and Juan Pablo Montoya (sixth) are the only two drivers to score a top 10 in last year’s 500 to repeat the feat this season.
  • Edwards has two wins and a second-place finish in the last three points-paying Cup races.
  • Edwards, and Kurt and Kyle Busch were the only three drivers in last year’s Chase to come away from this year’s Daytona 500 with a top-10 result. Yeah, it was that weird a race. The younger Busch brother at one point called the race “insanely stupid.” The results were “insanely weird.” Strange days, indeed… most peculiar.
  • Bobby Labonte (fourth) enjoyed his best Cup result since Martinsville in the fall of 2006.
  • Regan Smith (seventh) scored his best official Cup result ever, even if he did actually beat Tony Stewart to the line at Talladega in 2008.

What’s the Points?

For the first time since the Daytona 500 became the first race of the season, the winner of the race isn’t the points leader. Since Bayne signed on to compete for points in the Nationwide Series (a new rule this year says a driver can only run a for a title in one division), he earned no points (but big bucks) for winning the 500.

Carl Edwards leads the points with 42. David Gilliland, who never led a lap, and Bobby Labonte, who did, are tied for second with 41.

I feel silly, almost dirty, discussing points after the first race. Let’s give it a few weeks before we start wringing our hands over points, OK?

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — We give this one four and a half cans of Near Beer in honor of the winner’s age and the return of the Wood Brothers to Victory Lane at Daytona.

Next Up – After the pageantry and foolishness of Daytona, the series heads off to Phoenix where many folks feel the “real” season begins.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

Monday on the Frontstretch:
Fact Or Fiction: Did The Two-Car Tandem Work For Daytona?
Ford’s New Star? Wood Brothers Savior? 20-Year-Old Bayne Fits The Bill
Running Their Mouth: Daytona 500 Quotes To Remember & Why
Bubble Breakdown: Feast or Famine for Last Year’s Bubble Drivers at Daytona
Tracking The Trucks: NextEra Energy Resources 250

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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Voices from the Cheap Seats: Advertising for Dummies
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Off Week-Richmond Edition
Couch Potato Tuesday: Picking The Best IndyCar On-Air Personalities


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02/21/2011 01:34 AM

Ok, loved the race. Yes it was different, but isn’t that what made it good and interesting to watch? As an aside, since Martin is going back to a part time schedule again next year, and I need a new driver that I like, Trevor may just be the ticket I need to stay interested in Nascar.

02/21/2011 01:46 AM

This was way better than the 30 car parade we normally see. But it’s still lipstick on a pig. Plate racing sucks, but this sucked less.

I had no idea what a nice guy Bayne is. Of course, its awesome to see WBR back in victory lane. Too bad Pearson wasn’t there to thrust some homespun wisdom upon the ditzy blonde with the microphone.

And what’s with all the angry and bitter Bill Elliott fans? They’re chanting that Ford dropped Bill and screwed him out of the 21 ride. Hey folks, remember 2000? The year Bill sold out his Ford team to Ray Evernham and bolted for the Dodge camp? Right or wrong, who left who first?

Bad Wolf
02/21/2011 01:49 AM

This was “Pro Wracelin” at it’s finest, and tied the 2008 Brickyard 400” for excitment. Sixteen cautions, and about half of them were called for cars barely tapping the wall or having a tire going down. It seemed to me that the call went out to throw the caution at any chance to keep the engines from expiring from the heat, caused by the insane rules implimented by the high command at Nascar.

Is it just me, or does the Fox broadcast remind anyone else of Happy Days (Post jumping the shark) when Jr. takes the lead? Back in the day whenever “The Fonz” would walk on set the sound guy would crank up the pots of the live studio audience cheering. During the “Race” whenever Jr. took the lead Fox cranked up the audio of the cheering hord and DW got a tingle down his leg.

Pretty telling that the sports guy on our local station called todays race “The Great Spectical” instead of “The Great Race”.

How long before we see trailers for Michael Waltrips new movie, “Leathal Weapon”?

It was good to see the retro painted Wood Brothers 21 in victory lane, and I congratulate Trevor Bayne, but this was not my stock car racing. I used to say the real season would start next week in Rockingham, but Rockingham is gone, and so is stock car racing.

02/21/2011 02:03 AM

Loved the feel-good win, thought the race itself was awful. 150 miles out of 500 were run under yellow! 12 cautions for wrecks… and these are the best drivers in the world? Somehow the packs were broken up, and they still managed to tear up just as much sheet metal. At least with the old “pileup-plate” style races, we had green flag racing for at least 30 laps, something that couldn’t be said in this one.

An even nastier shock came for this fan on Friday night, when a black #3 turned into a SAFER-less wall… and TV crews didn’t show that the driver was okay for quite a few minutes. A lack of SAFER-less walls is inexcusable, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask of the TV crew to let us know that the drivers are okay after a wreck. Show them getting out, or putting the window nets down, or something.

Brian Mc
02/21/2011 02:45 AM

>Does anyone else feel that Saturday’s hour and a half of pre-race programming and pageantry is a bit excessive for a two and a half hour race? Not that Sunday’s pre-race programming was a paragon of brevity, clarity and information. Looks like we’ve got the annual battle between DW and Hammond to see who can speak the most and say the least.<
>Again, maybe I’m just getting old(er) and cranky but I sure hope FOX doesn’t do the pre-race show in the infield grass again. One of my pet peeves is supposed adults making idiots of themselves and waving signs around so they can be “on TV.” Any idiot can be on TV. Jeff Hammond and Chris Meyers even get paid for it.

Nice, Matt. Totally on top of it this evening! What an interesting weekend on so many levels. Lots to ponder…

02/21/2011 04:01 AM

Good to see you got your first Robby bash right out of the gate. Of course Robby is at fault for wrecking Jr. Heaven forbid we point out that it was Stewart who moved down to block a line of 4 cars going 15 mph faster than him and Robby got knocked sideways from the freight train, made a miraculous save that didn’t wipe out the remaining 20 something cars. Damn that Robby! Trying to merge back into the pack on the last lap of the Daytona 500 after getting knocked out of a top 10 finish that might keep his crew back at the shop employed for a few more weeks. Yeah, multi-millionaire Jr and multi-millionaire Newman should “have a talk with him.”

Brother Bear
02/21/2011 04:33 AM

— Loved the race, watched some live, had to follow some with internet commentary, but it was all the way excitement. There’s nothing wrong with racing at Daytona.

— Will I tune in for Phoenix? Definitely.

— Did my indifference to the 2011 season change and am I all exited about it now?
Sorry, not yet.

— Michael Waltrip, Tony Stewart & Trevor Bayne win the 3 races over the weekend but Clay Rodgers, Landon Cassill & Carl Edwards are the respective points leaders: Would someone please issue a press release to inform the general public out there that this is the Nascar Way and that we are not really affiliated with the WWE.

02/21/2011 04:58 AM

Brother Bear
You just beat me.
I was going to say how much easier this new point system is, where the winners of all 3 points races ARE NOT the points leader. Try explaining that to the new fans.

Not a fan of the 2 car tandem, yes this was a small improvement over the large packs. While not a big fan of the Fox broadcast team, I liked that once or twice they were correct in announcing both drivers that were leading the race, because it did take both of them to lead.

May I suggest to you as I did Bryan yesterday (after seeing his Ill-Gotten Gains segment) to have a running top 5 of the start and parkers and their Ill-Gotten Gains.

phil h
02/21/2011 05:34 AM

Ain’t it funny! Finally! A nationwide driver comes up to the Cup Series and rains all over their parade for a change! hehe!

Sure is ironic,how all three races this past weekend produced a winning driver who didn’t earn a single point for their efforts. Something tells me they could care less.

02/21/2011 05:50 AM

I loved the race so much, I didn’t even flip to CBS to watch any of the PGA, and only went to the bathroom and refrigerator during the commercials. What a day for NASCAR and The Woods Brothers! Haven’t had such a feel good race like that in years and years! The only bad thing was the 3 Stooges in the the broadcast booth. Oh man, they make me wanna barf!!! Fox needs to send these 3 away and let take their big self imposed egos with them!

Stephen HOOD
02/21/2011 06:58 AM

I watched the whole thing and it kept me on the edge of my seat at the end. The tandem grew on me as the race went on, but I would be happy to go back to large packs.

What driver(s) get credit for this racing style? Was it Keselowski and Edwards at Talladega? I remember they came from nowhere to take the lead, although I guess Junior was pushing Newman, too. Is this something they figured out while riding around in the back trying to avoid the big one?

The downside to the broadcast was at the end. I didn’t mind the Junior interview, but I wanted to hear what happened to Stewart and Martin and Busch and Montoya. They were both making charges and then faded. Stewart finished so poorly I wondered if he had a parts failure or something. This was the aspect of the racing I found interesting. Who is going to push who? Who leads driver X out to dry? Will pushers become cars for hire?

Also, a lot of people believed before Daytona that Bayne was the heir apparent to the UPS car. Was Bayne really going to push Ragan to a Daytona 500 win? Talk about a conundrum. Lucky, for Bayne he didn’t have to make a choice after Ragan’s boneheaded move. Do you reckon UPS has been on the phone with Jack Rousch in the last 12 hours?

Sharon J
02/21/2011 07:21 AM

Looks like we’ve got the annual battle between DW and Hammond to see who can speak the most and say the least. You got that right.
My sympathies are with Bowyer who led so many laps and then got wiped out by a idiot on the track who got run over by another idiot. Do these guys not have spotters? I mean the 78, the 22, or the car pushing the 22. Could they not warn of the slow moving car? DUMB!!!

Carl D.
02/21/2011 07:29 AM

I still don’t quite understand why we get hours of pre-race hype and practically no post-race commentary. I kept waiting for someone at Fox to interview Bobby Labonte (4th) but they never got to him or to David Gilliland (3rd). Instead we heard from Kurt Busch (5th), Kyle Busch (8th), And Dale Earnhardt (24th). I know that no story could even come close to Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers winning the race, but Labonte’s push was a big part of that and he didn’t even earn a mention by the Fox broadcast crew. I would like to have heard his take on the final two laps.

Matt, I’m like you… I enjoyed the race and it was certainly better than the pack racing, but it still feels like something from bizarro world. I guess we need to get used to this tandem racing at Daytona because it looks like it’s here to stay.

Carl D.
02/21/2011 07:39 AM

@StevenHOOD…. Tell UPS to hold that call. Based of David Ragan’s performance last year, I believe Jack Roush would have replaced him if he could have. However, David Ragan is what UPS wanted, and for better or worse David Ragan is what they have.

Ghost of Curtis Turner
02/21/2011 07:44 AM

I liked it, I bet seening the Wood Brother back in Victory Lane must be giving Brian Farce a heart attack. He thought he got rid of those pesky red neck Southern Race Team Owners.
Good for the Wood Brothers, Good for the Race Fans and Good for Racing in General. Now if we can just keep this up throught the rest of the season.

Ohh and isn’t it time to put DW. Mikey and the rest of the Human Shills out to pasture?

02/21/2011 08:06 AM

Kinda surprised that Matt didnt touch on this, but I think the thing in this race that stood out the most was the drivers being able to talk to drivers from the other teams. That just seemed totally bizarre to me. I was sitting there trying to picture Cale Yarborough back in the day calling Bobby Allison under caution to ask if he would “push” him, or Richard Petty apologizing to David Pearson because Buddy Baker “asked him first.”

02/21/2011 08:14 AM

I didn’t care for the racing. Even the best driver and/or the best car could win. Seems the second place finisher is the true winner.

Instead of 43 driving for the win we have 21 1/2 “pairs” going for the win.

No pit strategy either.

It was good to see a new driver win and to see a non “super-team” win.

However this type of racing will grow old and quickly.

02/21/2011 08:24 AM

The only problem I had with the weekend was the announcement of pushing back the start of the 2012 season to a weekend that is not President’s Day.

I like having the holiday after the race, just kind of a tradition.

Matt, if you don’t want to discuss points after the first race, don’t do’s your column…never saw the reason why you need to stick to the boilerplate format anyway…

02/21/2011 08:26 AM

All I am saying is… 2+1 = 3

02/21/2011 09:15 AM

What was Robby Gordon thinking?
He was thinking that he had to get back on the track and race, because he couldn’t stay below the double yellow line. Do you really expect a driver, after an incredible save like that, to just sit back and let the rest of the field pass him by? Besides, if you look at the replay closely, Robby merging back in did not cause Junior to run out of talent. They were wrecking on the wall in front of Junior before Robby made it back in line.

02/21/2011 09:20 AM

The only thing that would have made the ending better would have been Purolator (filters) on the side of the 21 car. It already had David Pearson written on the car.
I expected the big one at the end of the race, not before 30 laps when the twin packs would split up as the drivers tried for the win. I guess they can go brain dead at any time. At least it got rid of Jimmy Johnson and all his air time and probably a lot more carnage.
Who would you rather have pushing you? Trevor Bayne or Robby Gordon?
I guessd Jeff Gordon knew something in the 150 when he chose Bayne as his partner. It seems Bayne learned from the ending of the 150.
It was a feel good story almost as good as 1998.

02/21/2011 09:29 AM

I enjoyed the ending since Bayne seems like a nice guy, other than that, the race didn’t excite me much. I thought it was hilarious that the drivers set it up so they could talk to their dance partners through the event.

I did like the fact that the 2 car pairs made them have to use wider shots so we got to see a bit more racing than the favored bumper cam shots.

DW is DW — I don’t like it that he cheerleads and shills for certain drivers and makes, but he is what he is. Mike Joy did a good job with the PXP and what a relief it was to have Chris Myers finally drop the stupid act. It made the pre-race more watchable.

I did a lot of chores from lap 30 to lap 190 but I was happy that Bayne won it and that Bobby Labonte was able to keep his car in place long enough to keep krazy karl from punting the kid into the stands.

02/21/2011 09:29 AM

That was the best 500 since 2007, and in the end it will go down as one of the best ever. NASCAR needed a great 500 after the last two were ruined by rain and potholes. This is a really transcendent win. It will appeal to young fans with Trevor Bayne, and old school fans seeing the Wood Bros. 21 in victory lane. Bayne is just what NASCAR needs a young guy from the South that can appeal across a broad spectrum. I hope they get the sponsorship now to run the full season. I’m still not sold on this two car draft thing, but it does seem to guarantee a great finish. It’s really a problem when people don’t know how to do it right in the middle of the pack, (e.g. Waltrip and ‘Beak). As Bowyer said in 2008, “Michael Waltrip is the worst driver in NASCAR.” I feel bad for David Regan because the bullseye is clearly on his back. If he doesn’t really do well this year, no doubt Bayne will be in the 6 car next year. In, summary a great 500 and I hope this creates positive vibes and momentum all season.

Bill B
02/21/2011 09:35 AM

The race definitely was a Cinderella story with the 21/Bayne winning. That will affect how people rate/view the overall race.
My own opinion was that I didn’t like this style of racing any better than the large packs. At least I can say, it wasn’t any worse either. I guess I just can’t stand the restrictor plates and the crapshoot wreckfest they produce.

It is kind of suspicious that we had a record number of cautions. Does that say something about this style of racing? I don’t know.

02/21/2011 09:58 AM

Just a couple of quick thoughts…

Not particularly a fan of the pairs racing. It was very strange watching the cars break into their formations after each green flag.

The ‘Pizza Hut Fan Favorite’? Really – is it ever not going to be Jr.? This sport has definitely turned into a money whore.

Congrats the Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers – it was a nice win.

Thermal cameras were used by ESPN 10 years ago – in both NASCAR and NHRA coverage; so, FOX wasn’t breaking new ground with this like they’d have you believe.

Mike Eddy G
02/21/2011 10:06 AM

I am very happy for Lenord Wood and family for getting the # 21 back into Victory Lane at the Daytona 500. Congraduations to Trevor for running a great race and keeping the car like new. This young driver has a good attitute and I do believe that he will be popular like some of the past National Champions in his up coming years. I wish him good luck in his racing career. May God bless him and all other drivers in this sport.

02/21/2011 10:15 AM

Regarding the Coors “21 Means 21” sticker – they’ve had those for the under 21 drivers back to the Bud days with an “Anheuser snacks” logo in place of the beer ones. Also when Logano ran in the Busch East Series, his uniform patch & car sticker said NASCAR East Series. So however politically correct you deem it, it’s not a recent phenomenon. Great win for a Camping World East alum!

02/21/2011 10:28 AM

Your comments about DW and Hammond are right on target. It’s obvious David Hill never watches his own race broadcasts or he would change things.I cringe when those guys speak.

Moe Foe
02/21/2011 10:52 AM

@ Gina-

Exactly right! The wider view has been missing for quite a while. TV has fixated on the drivers and cars so much that the racing got lost. There’s nuances in the flow of the cars that define the races, and we haven’t been able to follow them. For so long has it been unshown that many viewers have not learned to see them.

The in-cars, speed shots, bumper cams, and the like has dominated the coverage, and we haven’t gotten the big picture. I hope this tag-team racing (though, only for 4 races) teaches the broadcasters the value of the long shot. It would be nice to see a whole race again.

02/21/2011 10:59 AM

I believe I still am perplexed as to what I feel about the do si doe racing I have experienced during this Speedweeks. It is bizzaro as one poster stated, but I do know this was the first 500 in some years that I couldn’t leave the television for worry I would miss something. Every segment seemed to have a twist or turn. The ending had my husband and I grabbing each other and shouting at the tv, “C’mon on 21 car!” I loved the idea of an unknown, but personable 20 year old winning in the venerable and beloved Wood Brothers car. It could not have been scripted better.
I also thought it quite weird to listen to the drivers make deals with other drivers without the spotters and crews running around during cautions. Never thought I would ever see or hear that.
I did tell my husband it would be an unknown pushing a big Cup driver to the win, I suspected that was what Gordon saw in Bayne from the get go. A solid driver who could follow the draft, keep his car clean and push the 24 car to the win. I thought it would be prudent for every big contender in the end to just pair up with an unknown who would be happy to push another to the win.
I was waiting for the stooges in the booth to do the very tired old line of Jr and Stewart linking up and the old saw, of Jr has his favorite drafting partner pushing him. Nothing annoys those of us who are not blinded by Jr Nation as much as saying that our driver will push the anointed one to victory because it is Jr, after all. And I was not easy to see Jr pushing the 14 as I knew Jr would try to get by whoever he was pushing. I didn’t waste much sympathy on Jr wrecking in the end, and I didn’t blame Robby Gordon as other posters pointed out, other things happened to cause all of the above.
And finally was not Kyle Busch’s commentary on a GWC, Kimmel worthy?…

02/21/2011 11:07 AM

Boogity Boogity Boogity. If Fox would just replace all Waltrips, McReynolds and Hammond, they might have something. The dumbing down of these broadcasts is killing the ability to watch. It was a fairly entertaining event, but didn’t have much to do with real racing. After having no desire to drive over to Daytona the last few years, this one was good enough to make think I’ll go next year.

02/21/2011 11:22 AM

Its a freakin miracle! Finally a race that Matt doesnt think sucked. Woohoo!

Wonder if he watched it or just read everyone’s hype after?

02/21/2011 11:26 AM

Hey Matt….

Perhaps YOUR pretty boy Jeff Gordon should attend the same Church as Trevor.

Since he lost his religion he hasn’t been the same driver as he once was.

02/21/2011 11:54 AM

The Daytona 500 was yesterday?

All I saw all weekend was a bunch of people crying about Dale Earnhardt.

Joe W.
02/21/2011 12:01 PM

While I agree that I really don’t like plate racing either, I thought this was much better than before. As a Ford fan and an East Tennessean myself this was a win I love!!! Keep up the good work Trevor, Wood Brothers and Roush Yates engines. Hopefully we will see A.J. and Marcos win this year too!!

02/21/2011 12:29 PM

I didn’t see anything exciting about yesterday’s race. It was long and boring. You generally had the same 8 cars in 2 car tandems pull away from the field on every restart. You very seldom got to see who was in the “pack” 20 seconds behind. I even missed the checkered flag due to not having the recording set long enough. I cannot watch a race live with the fox morons.

02/21/2011 12:34 PM

DW and the other mutts should be embarrassed by the amount of pre race work they did finding out about Bayne and Brian Kes. 2 weeks to research and all DW had was blank paper? I thought the heads were supposed to research the drivers, so if they happen to do good, they won’t look stupid. I guess they missed that memo too.

02/21/2011 12:42 PM

Anyone that claims that they saw Bayne winning this thing is full of you-know-what (in keeping with our new clean language them on this forum, I will refrain from using words like Jacob used to).

Dont fault Fox or DW or anyone for not having in-depth knowledge of T. Bayne (thats what I call him personally). The kid won a race and now people know who he is. Thats how it works.

Kevin in SoCal
02/21/2011 12:51 PM

Carl D.=8:29, go back and watch the post-race coverage. Fox DID interview Bobby Labonte and Frontstretch has the quotes in today’s emailed newsletter.
Mike=10:58, damn straight. TV needs to stop with these fan votes that are nothing but more ways to whore for Dale Jr. The best ones are the “best pit crew” where Dale or his crew have dropped lug nuts, missed pit road, or changed four tires instead of two, and yet the fans sheep still vote him for best pit award.

Doug (wis)
02/21/2011 01:25 PM

The only problem I have with Trever Bayne, is not really against him but that he is not elligable to be rookie of the year. I don’t think Andy Lally will be more deserving. NASCAR needs to rethink the qualifications for it, so we have deserving Rookies of the year, not just to get into the Bud Shootout.

02/21/2011 01:32 PM

The worst part about watching any NASCAR race these days is the constant Jr. love fest.

The best races are races he’s out early so they aren’t talking about him every 3 seconds…and if you look at the replay from yesterday…Jr. wrecked himself! Noone touched him. he freaked out and overcorrected.

Carl D.
02/21/2011 01:58 PM

@Kevin – Maybe I missed the interview w/ Labonte. I was watching pretty closely, or so I thought. I wonder if you folks on the west coast get more post race coverage than those of us on the east coast. I did catch Labonte’s (and Gilliland’s) comments on Frontstretch’s “Running Their Mouth” column this morning. Thnks for the head’s up, though.

02/21/2011 02:17 PM

Bob, DW never does any pre race preparation and it often shows. But that is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DW’s many things that alienate fans. And Mac the highly IGNORANT Boogity thing and the dumbing down of NACAR broadcasts is a HUGE insult to us fans. FAUX should be ashamed of what they are doing to us.

02/21/2011 03:32 PM

DW must go! Did anyone catch the start of the truck race where DW couldn’t get the title sponsors name correct ( it’s the Camping World DW) first calling it the Craftsman series then quickly calling it the Nationwide series before giving up all together. NASCAR wants the male 18 – 34 demographic but its never going to happen with FOX’s current on screen clown act. They are unbearable to listen to for any age demographic.

02/21/2011 03:33 PM

I thought maybe if they wanted to be football people, that they prepared like football people, my bad.

02/21/2011 03:36 PM

I’m not sure what it was…but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t racing.

Tag team demolition derby would be a fair description.

02/21/2011 03:53 PM

My Thoughts….

I thought the race had plenty of action with an excellent finish.

I am a Robby fan so I have to disagree with you Matt, I thought any driver that got knocked out of line without a partner was immediately 10 – 15 miles per hour slower than the herd. I thought the 14 and the 78
both got ran over when traveling by themselves.

PS: Did digger get covered by the new paving job?

02/21/2011 03:56 PM

I’m gonna shoot the next person that says “dancing partner” Should have started a drinking game. Take a shot every time the announcers said it.

02/21/2011 03:57 PM

@ Kevin and Carl D.. The only Bobby Labonte interview I saw was not on FOX and the post race show but on the Speed show later on. California time might have allowed for more post race coverage than I saw.

02/21/2011 04:10 PM

A bizarre form of racing to be sure. Even the drivers looked and sounded totally confused at times. It was GREAT to see the Wood Bros. back in victory lane. They surely deserve it!

02/21/2011 04:13 PM

I caught the last 20 laps and was so happy to see Bayne win! He really does seem like a nice kid. The younger drivers seem so full of themselves and obnoxious that I hate hearing them speak. Trevor was a joy to hear interviewed!

I, too, wish they’d add more coverage after the race instead of the ridiculous circus before the race.

02/21/2011 04:19 PM

I think Digger should announce on FOX. He is the best part.

02/21/2011 04:21 PM

I’m sorry, didn’t like much of what I saw. Glad the Woods made it to victory lane though. Never thought there would be a Daytona 500 that I would leave before the end, but this was it. Watched the final wrecks/laps on the DVR.

Kevin in SoCal
02/21/2011 04:45 PM

CincyLady, you’re probably right in that I saw Speed’s Victory Lane interview of Bobby Labonte, not Fox.

Chris in TX
02/21/2011 05:29 PM

Normally, my wife doesn’t pay much attention to the race on TV (at daytona or otherwise)…She was absolutely transfixed for the 2nd half of the race. She ended up yelling at the TV through both GWCs “Go 21!!!”. No, she doesn’t know anything about the Woods or Pearson. She just wanted to see the underdog win. Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing that Nascar needs to interest the casual passerby. Yes, DW is just about intolerable. Robby doesn’t have to do anything to generate internet editorial abuse. Haters gonna hate.

02/21/2011 05:30 PM

@laxbro – if you took a drink each time they said ‘dance partner’ – you’d have passed out long before the finish.
The race was decent to watch even though plate racing is usually a wreckfest. I just kept the sound down or jumped on the mute when the Booth Morons went on another rant. Really enjoyed seeing Trevor Bayne win and the Wood Brothers in Victory Lane. Another chapter in their rich history of the sport. My disappointment was my favorite drivers were all wrecked or blew an engine.

The Red Carr
02/21/2011 05:47 PM

I did Sunday chores then tuned in to watch the last 15 laps. That was enough. I was thrilled to see an old-time underfunded single car team beat the crap out of the super $$$ teams; Hendricks, Roush, Childress etc. Bayne’s victory reminded a lot of the Pete Hamiliton’s 1970 unexpected victory in the Petty team car, when many of the favorites dropped out.

02/21/2011 06:04 PM

If that was Nascar’s idea of entertainment then they had better go back to REAL racing. Worst excuse for a race that ever was. I have been a fan for many many years and I can’t imagine anyone sitting and watching more than 25 laps of that performance.

02/21/2011 06:13 PM

HUMmmm largest audiance since ’08, wow, is the elephant in the room ANY more apparent. No 48 and hendrick-felon cars and no threatening tayoytas. Now thats good exciting racing. Be even better if both were gone completely

02/21/2011 11:41 PM

Did Fox pretty much ignore who got the lucky dog? Digger must die. He insults my intelligence. Would Dale Jr win any fan pole posted? He kept being shown as the pit crew fan favorite or something absurd like that. I have not yet tried the radio broadcast with the TV turned down, but it is coming soon.

Shayne Flaherty
02/22/2011 12:13 AM

I wonder what a first time viewer would think of Sunday’s race? Hell, what I watched on Sunday was a first for me. Tandem racing. An ealier comment mentioned something about a movie trailer. Why not have the Cup cars pull an actual trailer? Look at all the sponsorship space available for sale. The race sucked. I love the “record lead changes” stat. There was no way a “pusher” was going to try to pass the “pushee” for a lead change. Set your DVR and forget it. You only need to watch the final ten laps. That’s when lead changes and battles for the lead are actually taking place. The broadcast sucked, as usual. DW is progressively getting worse with his antics. I like the new noses on the cars. There, I said something nice.

02/22/2011 10:21 AM

I didn’t care much for the style of racing; but I liked the outcome. It’s always nice to see the unexpected occur in what has become a fairly predictable “sport”. I agree that all Waltrips need to go, along with Chris Myers, Hammond and Digger. And it looks like we’re in luck this week, Randy is heckling Bryan Keith instead of Matt this time around.

02/22/2011 10:53 AM

Kevin in So Cal – pathetic fan votes have to be the cheapest ploy to get a sponsors money, er, logo on a TV.

Junior is apparently in good company with these contrived fan gimmicks – I heard Justin Bieber was voted the MVP of the NBA Celebrity All Star game last Friday…

02/22/2011 03:38 PM

Great results…lousy race.

Best thing that could happen to the sport?…more owners like the Wood brothers and the Keslowski family.

Next best thing?…all entertainers come from Nashville, not LA.

Final best thing?…the Waltrips heed a calling and retire to a monastery