NASCAR Daytona 500 2015
NASCAR Daytona 500 2015 Photos and Stories.
2015-02-22 Daytona Raceway, Florida, USA
NASCAR Daytona 500 2015
Joey Logano wins The Daytona 500 2015
The start of the 500 was a fittingly tribute to retiring Jeff Gordon with Jeff stopping on the 'fan walk' to pick up his 2 girls.
Lap 19 Landon Cassill brought out the first yellow with a blown engine.
Gordon either lead or was in the front 3 in the early laps with Dale Earnhardt Jr. staying in the first 3 places also.
Lap 41, Stewart in 8 th get loose drifts up touching the 21 car then hits the wall. In the braking Matt Kenseth bounces both ends into the wall and bangs off a car next to him bring out the yellow
Joey Logano, with great team work picks up 3 positions in the yellow flag pit stop on lap 44. Logano moves briefly in to the lead after the restart.
Tony Stewart went behind the wall on lap 41
Around lap 50 Gordon shows off an expert example of 'side-drafting' in a pass of Logano and moves back into the lead.
On the 3rd yellow pit stop Casey Mears #13 picked up 23 positions.
Lap 87 Earnhardt Jr. moved into the lead.
Lap 52 Patrick moved onto 10 place, her highest position in the race.
Brad Keselowski running in 13th has his engine let go with about 40 laps left and brings out the 4th yellow. The oil on the track sets up the #1 car and the #31 car to mix it up and do some damage to the cars.
Car 21 loses engine and brings out 5th yellow with 23 laps to go.
Gordon moved up from several cars back at the restart and into to the 2nd row of the 3-wide leaders.
The lead pack of cars were running 3 wide lap after lap for 16 laps at over 200 MPH. One mass demonstration of suburb driving which only is stopped with an engine letting go.
With 3 laps to go Justin Alllgaier is into the wall after being hit by Ty Dillon.
Green-white-checker finish puts Joey Logano in the lead at the green. On the back stretch 8 cars mix it up. NASCAR shows the yellow but lets the lead cars run to the checker. 1. Joey Logano; 2. Harvic; 2. Earnhardt Jr.; 4. Hamlin; 5. Johnson;
Jeff Gordon starts his final season with 92 Wins, 3rd most of all time; 4 Cup Championships; 3 Daytona Wins; and the 2015 Pole position. By the end of the race he had lead the first lap, and lead for a total of 87 Laps for his career high.
Gordon sides back to 28th when the #3 car gets into him on the last lap causing the yellow for the back cars. Jeff lead 87 laps for his career high.
Patrick maintains her designated 20 +/- place.
Danica Patrick in her pre-race interview said the her plan was, as she was starting mid field, to work her way up to the front bunch and try to keep her car there to avoid any crashes. This and some comments made at the pre race comments by the announcers saying that this is an important year for her and her team with contract negotiations being on the table brought some interesting thoughts to me.
My thoughts on this is; Danica is or was a completive driver before moving to NASCAR. So what has changed? She is still running on the same tracks or same kind of tracks. The cars defiantly. The car is completely different the open wheel cars she has won with, but after all the laps Danaca has now behind her, a professional driver most certainly would have figured the car out. The stars of the golden age of racing drove almost every type of race car available.
Where is Danica's old fire? Wheel banging in open wheel cars is not acceptable, but Danica found the aggression to push her way into the lead and run at the front. NASCAR does have banging and pushing on the track. The street talk when Danica was making her move to NASCAR was 'she would be pushed to the back by the door banging 'good ol boys'. Ok that has not happened, she is always in mid-pack and on the lead lap. But where is the fire?
In the beginning Danica in NASCAR pre-race interviews said she was focused on learning the car and the processes.
Now after all these races, maybe the mantra should be 'getting to the front and staying there'.
Some races have been won by having all the faster cars in front of them failing near the end and therefore handing the win to them. But this is mostly luck not necessary racing skill and not a plan to keep year after year. The constant winners can be dropped to the rear and work their way to the front during most any race.
Just maintaining and staying out of trouble is not a strong 'winning' concept. I thank that the TEAM MANAGEMENT is directing this mind set on Danica , and if the TM is not directing this mind set then the TM should.