We saw the closest finish the Bud Shootout has ever seen, and we may well have witnessed the best Shootout, also this past Saturday night in Daytona. The long winter is over and the boys are back on track, so let's check the View from the Flagstand!
Kyle Busch slipped by Tony Stewart on the high side coming to the checkered flag and won the Shootout by about three feet. M&Ms was well rewarded for sticking with the Rowdy one, as the multi-colored #18 was a one car high light reel Saturday night. Busch saved his car, twice(!), while completely sideways on the apron of the track at about 190mph. In forty years of watching Daytona, I've yet to see that happen once. Those replays will live in Daytona infamy with the likes of Pearson vs Petty coming to the flag in the 500, and Yarborough vs Allisons on the backstretch.
Stewart hung on for second place. Perhaps he recalled the last time he and Busch came to the flag at Daytona, and Kyle's car was destroyed by his own ill timed block attempt as he came across the nose of Smoke's Chevy in the tri-oval. Marcos Ambrose was third in his fast Ford. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-5, although neither one led a lap.
Pack racing is back.... so are the Big Ones! Talent runs out quick when they're racing three abreast at close to 200mph. No one liked pack racing until the two-car-tangos came along last year, now it's the best thing since deep fried Kool-Aid at the State Fair.
What is up with the "analysts" at Fox thinking they have to assign blame for every wreck so far this year? It would be okay if they would pay attention to the replays before blabbing their theories. Most of the wrecks so far have been "just one of them racing deals", wherein a trailing car barely touches the car in front, and may be further compromised by the car trailing him being on his bumper. But, DW and Larry Mac don't need no stinkin' replays.
I can accept the new rule not allowing drivers to communicate with each other during the race. However, not allowing their spotters to communicate with the other spotters is ridiculous, and borderline reckless. Why even have spotters, then? Just let the guys drive blind, NASCAR.