Daytona 500: My Top 10 Observer-ations

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10. NASCAR fans are loyal and rabid and ... strange. I asked a guy who he was rooting for before Sunday's Daytona 500 here in Florida and his answer: "Dodge." Imagine NFL fans picking their favorite team based on whether they wore Nike or Reebok or Under Armour.

9. All the yellow cautions - a record 16 - were fascinating, yet frustrating. Time and again a car would get out to a nice lead, only to have somebody behind him wreck and then be bunched back together at the re-start. Seems to me somehow the lead needs to stay in place upon re-start, but I guess that'd be almost impossible to replicate each time?

8. Best Daytona T-shirt: "Beer for Boobs. 1 for 2 Special."

7. The line to get a photo taken in front of Dale Earnhardt's statue was an hour long. I kid you not.

6. Brad Paisley was the pre-game musical act. Never really got him but from my seat in Turn 1 I was definitely in the minority.

5. Only the Daytona 500, or perhaps a Super Bowl, could bring together under one pre-race tent: Steve Spurrier, Glenn Beck and Fergie. Weird.

4. Stepped into and onto an RV Sunday that cost $1.2 million. Heated marble tile on the floor. Intricate maple wood with crown moulding in the bunk bedroom. High-def flat screens on the walls. A bar that cost $2,000 to stock. A built-in ice chest that holds 800 beers. And a perfect perch that stretches 19 feet above the ground for viewing the racing. The six guys - from Pennsylvania - were in Florida for 12 days camping out in luxury. If that's possible.

3. Didn't have a dog in the hunt but I was pulling for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Seemed like most everybody else was too. And when we all got quiet and gave the No. 3 hand tribute on Lap 3, it was eerie.

2. Exciting finish, but I'm not sure I'm down with Daytona's new pavement that creates faster cars and, in turn, teamwork amongst non-teammates. At times it looked more pairs skating than single-driver auto racing.

1. Trevor Bayne won the race a day after turning, get this, 20 years old. At 20 I was driving a Pontiac Fiero and having to always park it on a downhill as to get it coasting and then pop the clutch to start it. Was listening on the driver/team radio signal when Bayne got the checkered flag, realized he won and yelled "Is this a dream?! I don't even know where to go? What do I do now?!" Very cool.

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lesliedelazo
lesliedelazo

Very interesting blog! I'm enjoyed reading your blog. I'm an observer also and I think we have observed almost the same. Thanks for sharing! watch daytona 500 live

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

The race reminded me of driving around South Grand Prairie on any weekend, with Juan towing Jaunita's car with a 4 foot tow chain....multiplied by ...22 and a 1/2 times. horrible "racing" is what it was, good to see a kid win and not JR, but that was it's only saving grace.

Greggo's coke mirror
Greggo's coke mirror

10.Some fans like to cheer for manufacturers. Why do you care? You would cheer for a child molester if he was a Cowboy.9.So with that logic whoever has the football at halftime should get the ball back in the exact same spot at the second half.8.Seen worse at a Cowboy game7.So! Are you jealous that Jerry Jones' statue will never have a line?6.He sucks. I agree5.So! Why did you go if you despise Nascar?4.Jealous much? Wishing you were alone with them?3.You might have understood the tribute if you knew who he was.2.You do realize that even if they are teammates they are all trying to win. It's not like football or baseball where everyone works as a team. You only work together if it benefits you. Again, you would know this if you bothered to try and learn a few things about Nascar instead of constantly making of the fans and pretending to be an expert when you interview drivers1. He deserved to win.

Smokey Problemson
Smokey Problemson

I mean, I get that you're passionate about NASCAR and don't want to see it misrepresented, but for someone (like me) who doesn't have much of a frame of reference for motor sport, you've kind of just given me the impression that NASCAR fans are... A touch defensive.

After reading the three different top 10s in this thread I feel like I've learned a lot about the experience and more importantly, what NASCAR fans get really passionate/ worked up about, but I had to sift through a lot of extraneous invective to get there...

I guess my point is, not everyone is trying to take NASCAR down or make fun of the fans-- some of us just don't know much about it/ what to expect when going to an event. Be an ambassador, bro!

Richie's Mailman
Richie's Mailman

GCM, I love your name but you're a bitter, bitter man. #2, I don't like the "Pairs skating" either. It's not a team sport. Sure, teammates do help each other out but the ATM racing was boring.

texasracefan43
texasracefan43

10. Your assessment is correct-some fans would cheer for a child molester in 'chiverlay'9. Again spot on-what makes a race different from time trials is the 42 other racers being out there at the same time, if the fastest car was supposed to win, then they could time each car running individually (with the fastest time winning), and they could do it on a Tuesday, as no one would pay to see that-its a race, it is supposed to be exciting-which this race actually was (best CUP race since W/G last year)8. RW should attend the infield at Talledaga on Saturday-which i hear is very much like Sturgis on steroids7.JJ introduced some real cowboys Saturday night (along with the next 'act' to sing the NATIONAL ANTHEM at TMS, hopefully-3 of the DALLAS COWBOYS' cheerleaders who sang and looked like angels, BTW-they got all the words right)6.IMHO-Paisley is quite talented and could go 'lick for lick' with Jimmy Page-rap sux5.RW confuses athletic competion with a sporting contest-probably does not 'get' rodeo, either4.RV show is at Market Hall next weekend-maybe RW will expand his horizons and see some fancy coaches3.Again spot on-it was eerie on TV2.The drivers are only teammates when their paychecks come from the same organization (such as RFR, RCR, HMS, etc.), each car/entry is a separate contestant-whose only interest is supposed to be winning the race by whatever means possible (within the rules-see David Ragan in the #6/UPS car)1.He deserved the win because he finnished the scheduled distance (again by the rules) in the least amount of elapsed time-not because he was the youngest driver, or because he was driving for the oldest team, or by driving one of the most famous numbers in all of motorsport, or because he had a good SPEEDWEEKS-BTW all of which are true.

Greggo's coke mirror
Greggo's coke mirror

I really don't understand why the Fail broadcasts the races and sends you to the Daytona 500 when you clearly hate racing and everyone else at the Fail(excluding Sybil) knows nothing about it.

Michael
Michael

lol, Sybil doesn't know much either

Richie's hair plugs
Richie's hair plugs

She does attend every race at Texas and does announcements. I would say she understands more than anyone else at The Fail.Richie just makes fun of the fans who would most likely be listening to the race on their station. Real smart considering they have to beg for listeners. If they were smart they would try to study up and hope to maybe convert some of those part time listeners to their station instead of insulting them and calling them idiots for watching Nascar.

Michael
Michael

Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are at every home game. You think they completely understand the sport?

Gary
Gary

I have tuned into this race over the years, enjoyed the broadcast and big time nature of the event. But to your point about two-man teams, yesterday I had trouble watching because of the sheer ridiculousness of watching two cars stuck together as if the back one was being towed or fell victim to a Wacky Races magnet that kept it from passing the car directly in front of it.

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