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Daytona 500 gives fans a wild ride

This years Daytona 500 was by far the best one I’ve seen in a very long time. This year Nascar eased up on bump drafting rules in order to allow the drivers to really race. Today’s race saw nine cautions with three of them being in the last seven laps. This proves that bump drafting, while dangerous if to agressive, leads to drivers racing with their heart instead of by the rules.

Nascar Daytona 500 history was made today with the race running two hundred and eight laps and five hundred twenty miles. The race was red flagged (stopped) twice, within the last seventy eight laps, in order to fix a hole in the track. Total the repair time was two hours and twenty – eight minutes. The Daytona 500 racetrack is going to be re- paved, for the first time since 1976, sometime next year. Three green, white, checkered runs were attempted with the third being the charm.

Daytona 500 today marked a race day full of dissapointments, victories and amazing combacks. Due to an engine problem Carl Edwards had to start at the very back of the pack. By lap twenty – five he had moved up to tenth place. Edwards ran in the top fifteen for most of the day and, in a risky move toward the end of the race, made it to third place. In the end he wasn’t able to start fast enough and finished the race in ninth place.

Jimmie Johnson had many problems and was involved in a late race crash. He had been running well before a long green flag pit stop pushed him to the mid – back of the pack. He was working his way to the front but ended up thirty – fifth. The person I felt the worst for was Kasey Kahne. After racing most of the day in the top five he finally made it to second place. He stayed there for a bit until Harvick bump drafted him a bit to hard. Kahne got a bit loose swung up the track and got shuffled to the mid – back of the pack. In the very last lap he was involved in a crash and he ended up thirtieth.

Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the most amazing comebacks ever. Jamie had been running in the top fifteen all day. Dale after leading had gotten in the middle and shuffled to the back. He struggled with his car all day and toward the end was in sixteenth.

In the first green, white, checkered attempt(called a shoot out), with two laps left, Jamie was able to pass a few people to claim fourth place. The yellow flag signaling the eight caution flew but the white flag hadn’t been taken. Nascar officials decided to finish the race with actual racing. The second shoot out attempt saw Jamie pass between Biffle and Truex Jr. to claim second spot. The yellow flag flew and another shoot out was attempted.

In the third and final green, white, checkered Jamie was able to pass Bowyer with bump draft help from Biffle. With one lap left before the end of the race Dale Earnhardt Jr. Passed six cars and claimed second place. Jamie held Dale off for one lap to win his first ever Daytona 500. Dale was a good sportsman and didn’t try to pass Jamie in the last lap though he could have.

This race was by far one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The last thirty laps were nothing but good, old fashioned, slide down in front of them, push them out of the way bump drafting, pure racing. I can only imagine what the rest of the season is going to be like! I know it will be good and I hope you join me for the ride. As Darrel Waltrip would say…. BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOOGEDY… LET’S GO RACING BOYS!

Written by Liz Walker

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