It doesn't seem like that long ago where suspense was the name of the game in terms of the Daytona 500. Looking back at the 1998 Daytona 500 where Dale Earnhardt was leading late in the going, the CBS booth's tense commentary as the laps wound down was nothing short of memorable as the fans were on the edge of their seats watching Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, and Rusty Wallace all slice and dice for position while trying to oust that black No. 3.
In a race that featured two big wrecks, two Red Flags and a long winless streak broken, Denny Hamlin won the 61st Daytona 500 for the second time in his 15 year career and 32nd time he has found victory lane.
The Daytona 500 is coming up this Sunday, a time for new beginnings and a time for bringing things to an end. After 15 years and over a thousand columns of various incarnations, this edition represents my final regular contribution to this site.
If NASCAR was a certain 1977 hit movie, you could say that Sheriff Buford T. Justice finally got his hands on the Bandit. It might not have derailed the adventure, but there is a danger the Snowman might not be able to deliver that truckload of suds to their destination on time.
I had such high hopes for NASCAR, at least since July. That is when NBC came on board, and presented the long sought after broadcast crew that could keep fans glued to the track simply by the strength of their commentary. We have waited years for that to happen, and it is crucial for a sport that has yet to solve some on-track competitive issues and more than a few off it. If the racing is not spell binding, then the commentary damn well better be if you hope to have anyone watching.
Tradition. On Sunday, NASCAR returns to its traditional roots, to the track that was Daytona before Bill France replaced the beach-road course with his 2.5-mile architectural marvel. Before the Daytona 500, the marquee event was held in Darlington.