So at last, “the great American race” – the 57th Daytona 500 went underway Sunday 22/2.
The weekend weather at Daytona international Speedway shifted from very cool to sunny and warm on Sunday. The track conditions was then a bit different from expected for the teams.
After a big pre-show with rock star Kid Rock, drivers presentation, a nice flyover, the Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn finally sad the magic words to start the engines.
The race started nice and smooth. All drivers took it easy in the beginning. #24 Gordon running at the front for the most of the time. #48 Johnson and #88 Earnhardt Jr. was also up there leading some laps. Some shuffling, up and down, in the field as usual.
First caution lap 19, #40 Cassill blew his engine. Next caution involving #14 Stewart, that got into the wall when he came up and got into #21 Blaney. This caused #55 Walltrip to hit #20 Kenseth. 3rd caution for debris.
Otherwise the race was running without any big collisions. #24 Gordon leads most of the time, changing the lead with #88 Earnhardt Jr. and #48 Johnson. Hendricks cars looking strong today. #22 Logano took the lead at lap 147.
Caution 4, #2 Keselowski blows his engine at lap 160. Caution 5 at lap 175 because #21 Blaney loses his engine. #11 Hamlin took the lead at lap 189 for a few laps. When 8 laps to go #22 Logano is at the lead again, #11, #78, #15, #5, #48, #27 trailing. #24 had been shuffled back in the field.
Caution 6, lap 197, #51 Allgaier wrecks, #33 T.Dillon also damaged. Red flag at lap 198. There will be a green-white-checkered finish. When the white flag is waived, #22 Logano still leads in a very dramatic last laps, trailed by #4, #88 and #15. At the last lap, a wreck happened behind the leading pack and causing the last caution. The last wreck collected #24, #17, #18, #27, #44 and #10.
#22 Logano won the race and $1,581,453 !
This 57th Daytona 500 race was one of the best Daytona races I ever seen in long time. Exceptional drivers that can run 3-wide at 200 mph into the curves without wrecking is amazing. Must be the best drivers in the world to handle that kind of pressure for so many hours. The race was also exciting, nervous and fun to watch – all the way to the last lap. This is what stock car racing is all about! (JS)
Time of race: 3h 8 min
Caution: 7 for 26 laps (1 red flag)
Lead changes: 27 from 12 drivers
Laps led: #24 : 87, #48 : 39, #88 : 32, #22 : 31, #11 : 4, #19 : 3, #16 : 2, #78 : 1, #40 : 1, #46 : 1, #47 : 1, #13 : 1
|8||78||Martin Truex Jr.||10|
|12||9||Sam Hornish Jr.||38|