After an hour and a half rain delay, red flag, and GWC, the Coke Zero 400 stretched out until the short hours of early Sunday morning. With the rear spoilers and new larger sized restrictor plates, it looks like NASCAR has hit on a winning formula. Plenty of passing, bumping, slipping, and sliding made for a competitive race over the holiday weekend.
Kevin Harvick increased his points lead by leading the most laps and winning the 400 at Daytona early Sunday morning. His car was one of the strongest out there, and he drove a very smart race. While his two RCR teammates were also in the top three, late; they couldn't close it out like Harvick.
Kasey Kahne never led a lap, but was second when the final flag flew. The rest of my green flags go to a bunch of drivers who were so far back they missed the 18 car 'big one' and had a decent finish. Reed Sorenson (8), Mike Bliss (9), Scott Speed (10), Robby Gordon (12), Steve Park (13), Kevin Conway (14), and Bobby Labonte (16).
After whining about drivers racing too hard on late restarts, Mr Jeff Burton does it again! Driving over his head last week in New Hampshire, he only took one car out late. This week in Daytona, it was 18 innocent bystanders that were totaled as Burton body slammed Kurt Busch, and continued blissfully on to a 5th place finish.
Kyle Busch playing the blame game. It certainly appeared as if Busch turned right, on a straightaway, and hit Juan Montoya's car while turning his own whip head on into the wall. While leading the race! At first, I was ready to blame Kyle for misjudging another car's closing rate... while leading, for the second year in a row at Daytona. And, that may well still be the case.
Some things to ponder about the incident. As Busch said, why would he turn into a faster car, on a straightaway, while leading, when he was going to pit for tires in two laps? Could the air from one car suck another car around when the first car is very close beside the first car, and does lack of tire grip on the first car have any effect on this scenario? If anyone does buy Kyle's explanation, how do cars 'side draft' at the plate tracks, then?
The talk of the NNS race being rigged by NASCAR just because Dale Earnhardt Jr won, while driving a Wrangler replica of his father's famous #3 Chevy. It was certainly a souvenir sales windfall, no doubt. Probably the only reason Theresa E. signed off on it. But, if the NASCAR execs aren't smart enough to rig some Cup races for Jr to win, why would they manipulate a NNS race for him?