Speeds over 200 mph. Three wide racing to the end. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had time at the front. So did Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Excellent announcing on FOX. Nice weather. What was there not to love about the Daytona 500?
It was a breakout year for RPM. Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Ford, won his first race in July at Daytona International Speedway and Marcos Ambrose decided to head back to Australia to drive at home after nearly winning a race and joining Almirola in the Chase.
Josh Wise got in the Sprint All-Star race, and at least managed to still be running at the end. His sponsor, Dogecoin, got all sorts of publicity, and Danica Patrick, Kyle Larson, and Austin Dillon got screwed.
Sam Hornish Jr. claimed his third career Nationwide Series victory in 101 starts at Iowa Speedway. The turning point came on a restart with 21 laps to go when Hornish pulled ahead of Ryan Blaney to take the lead.
Kansas is not as sexy as Talladega, I admit. It is not a Daytona, a Darlington, and it is no Indianapolis. I think having the race named after a series of sponsors instead of seeking a real identity might have something to do with that. Still, some big names have been among the 16 winners there since they first started up the engines back in 2001.
Daytona must be getting closer as Monday was filled with news concerning the quickly approaching NASCAR season. From a deadly duo ready to battle for the Nationwide Series' Owner's Championship to a retired driver set to take some laps at Daytona, the day in news never let up.