Monday, February 19, 2007

Daytona 500

Six years to the day that Dale Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500, Kevin Harvick, the driver who replaced the legend, won NASCAR's biggest race on a wild last-second pass.

Harvick raced side-by-side with Mark Martin down the front stretch yesterday and pushed the nose of his Chevy across first as cars wrecked behind them to win the race for the first time and deny the veteran Martin his first win at Daytona. Martin who first raced Daytona in 1982, lost by 0.02 of a second.

Harvick was sitting seventh when the race was restarted after a red-flag caution with just two laps left, and made an amazing run up high.

The seven-car wreck behind Martin and Harvick at the finish left Clint Bowyer sliding across the finish line upside down in flames. I don't think that's quite standard procedure!

A couple of other notes from the race.
  • Tony Stewart led 32 laps early on until a pit road accident and a subsequent speeding penalty forced him to the back of the pack. He raced back to the front and took the lead on lap 138 before wrecking on lap 152.
  • Toyota raced for the first time in the Nextel Cup. Interesting while some were upset at the foreign name plate, Toyota is actually the only car racing that's assembled in the USA.
  • What happened to the yellow flag? NASCAR's rules dictate that the field order is frozen the moment the yellow flag flies and the caution lights come on around the track. Why was there no yellow flag on the last lap as cars started crashing?

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