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.
Jimmie Johnson. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch. Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex, Jr. Denny Hamlin. Brad Keselowski. Kyle Larson. Chase Elliott. These men are NASCAR. These men, a few women, and so many others made the sport. Were the sport. Are the sport. Brian France is not NASCAR. There is a reason 97 percent of all family businesses do not survive as such into the fourth generation.
Unstable. Set to go off with the least provocation. No, I’m not talking about CNN or late night talk show hosts, most celebrities, or more than a few politicians. What I am referring to is the Daytona 500.
The distance run and the sponsors may have changed, but for thirty years the gateway to summer race at Daytona was known as the Firecracker 400 (250 for its first four runs). It might not be as big as the 500 or have the glamour of the Southern 500, but winning this one means something. Its name should mean something as well.
NASCAR was born in the southern United States so it may surprise you to learn that in 1950 it was a young man from New York who won the Grand National Championship - the forerunner to today’s Sprint Cup Series.
We are closing in fast on one of the biggest days in the motorsport world. Formula 1 will run the historic Monaco Grand Prix Sunday followed by the 97th Indianapolis 500 and will conclude with the longest race in NASCAR, the Coke 600.