Time And Tide 500

Another good race is in the can.

Occasionally ( OK, regularly ) I criticize Nascar for one thing or other. Mostly because it’s easy. But I’ve got to give them extremely high marks for this speedweeks. They did everything they could to touch all the bases and satisfy everyone’s needs. They battled indomitable foes best they could. In the end, it all worked out.

We’ll have to wait for Talladega for verification, but for whatever reason, the racing was unexpected. No tandems worked for very long, no nose on tail was critical, and little worry about losing the draft or belief  one could just hang out in the back for most of the race.. Power seemed to be a big factor.

However, I do have a number of questions. Didn’t a few cars pass below the yellow lines at the end of the Nationwide race? Were they “forced” to do that?

Is a caution for what appeared to be only for “sparks” (#39, lap 14) legitimate?

If the 11 or one of the other dominant cars were in the lead at the red flag, would Nascar have gone through all they did to restart the race?

All in all, I suspect they did the right things. Sure glad I don’t have to make those decisions.

We all know by now the last time a Waltrip was not in the Daytona 500 was 1972. Do we all know (or care) this was the fastest pole speed at Daytona since 7.94? What I want to know is why was it so fast in ’94? Help! And when was the last pole anywhere faster than 194.738? Help!

Speaking of Waltrip. I’m sorry. I’ve said it before. There’s not enough oxygen in a booth for two Waltrips and there’s certainly not enough tolerance in my living room for same. I respect and admire them both, but in different settings.

Alas, there’s finally a solution. Some time ago an option to TV sound was radio. It doesn’t get any better than MRN (or PRN). But thanks to Jr.’s expletive a few years ago, the radio broadcast went to a delay. This made it useless to listen to the radio while watching the telecast. Until now! Please don’t tell anyone lest the powers that be put the kibosh on this (if only because it’s to our benefit and they think somehow we’re getting over on them), but MRN is now freely streaming their broadcast on their website. It gets better (so far, I think). The stream is actually several seconds ahead of the telecast (at least on boxless cable). This scenario gives you a heads-up on the action so you can anticipate watching it unfold – and hit the record button. For example, I heard Eli Gold describe the 42 explosion while Fox was still in commercial.

Speaking of Juan, I can hear Harry Hogg say “I want you to go out there and hit the jet dryer. You’ve hit everything else”.

And finally, rain can be a good thing. It gave me a chance to watch a little golf, some of Ali’ birthday party, and Pete Weber make history.

2.26.67: Mario Andretti got his 1st and only Nascar victory. The winning Ford eventually became DW’s Mercury.

2.26.56: On the Daytona Beach and Road Course, Tim Flock was in the lead with 2 laps to go when Nascar halted the race due to high tide. Jr. Johnson finished 40th (of 76) after climbing out of the rear window of his rolled Pontiac. Photos exist, i.e. Volume 1, pg.217 of Greg Fielden’s Forty Years Of Stock Car Racing.

If Ned was in the booth we’d know what’s up with Kertus Davis.

By Gary Erdakos

Ref: racing-reference.info, Greg Fielden’s “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing”, Richard Sowers’ “The Complete Statistical History of Stock-Car Racing”.




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