The most bizarre Daytona 500 in the history of ever.

Sunday started in Daytona Beach with rain, and a lot of it.  The problem was that it never went away.  For the first time in the 54 year history of the event, it was rain delayed until the following day.  Initially the delay was set for Monday at noon eastern.  On Monday, it was decided that the race would be postponed again until 7pm eastern to be 100% outside of the rain, and conveniently placed smack-dab in the middle of prime time.  It’s a good thing, too, because it turned out to be one of the most interesting NASCAR events of all time.

Okay, so the race finally got started, and then it was back under caution again only just after the first lap was completed.  Jimmie Johnson spun and took last year’s winner Trevor Bayne, and Queen Danica, among others.  Getting back to green saw another fairly boring 160 laps.

Without trying to sound a bit too sensationalist, Juan Pablo Montoya caused the biggest explosion and resultant fire that I have ever seen in motorsport.  A bit of bad luck resulted in Montoya’s rear axle locking up at the most inopportune time.  You see, the track was under caution, and with a few minutes of down time, NASCAR sent the jet-dryers out on track to blow off a bit of the debris.  Juan had just left the pits and was on a tear to catch back up to the field when his differential, transmission, something locked up and spun him up the track and into the wall.  The issue fell in that there was one of those jet-dryers between Juan’s car and the wall he was aimed at.

Watch the resulting video if you haven’t already seen it!


As the cleanup ensued, it appeared almost certain that the race would be called, and Dave Blaney would be victorious.  Fortunately, the track did get cleared (in one of the best product placements Tide could have ever asked for), and the race was re-started to cover the final 100 miles.

Lap 188 led to yet another “big one” as Jamie McMurray cut a tire and spun taking four other cars with him, including Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Eric Almirola, and Regan Smith.  Pole sitter Carl Edwards received light damage, but was able to continue.

With four laps to go, the yellow came out again, this time David Gilliland and Ricky Stenhouse had a “coming together” in which Stenhouse spun up into Tony Stewart.  At one point, Tony was completely backward at triple digit speed and managed to save the car with very little damage.  Sometimes skill goes hand in hand with luck!

In the end, it was a NASCAR signature Green-White-Checker finish and the #17 car of Matt Kenseth took the win after 37 hours of waiting.  It is now 1am, and I’m going to bed!



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