Friday, April 6, 2012

A Month of NASCAR, Day 5: 2011 Daytona 500 (A post not related to an Earnhardt)

Just like in 2001, the 2011 season was one that NASCAR desperately needed. After five straight years of Jimmie Johnson winning the Cup, the sports needed a big punch in the arm and Trevor Bayne was the beginning of that.

After being turned off to anti-climactic season thanks to Johnson, Bayne reintroduced an excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time. Who honestly knew who Bayne was before this race?

My favorite part about sports is when the Dark Horse gets a moment in the sun, and 2011 was that moment, as five different first time winners took the checkered flag.

I really have to give props to the MRN broadcasting people. Outside of races like this, they have an incredible ability to make the most mundane races exciting. They make NASCAR more exciting on the radio than baseball or basketball.

Another thing I love about this finish is who all was fighting for the win. Bobby Labonte, who hadn’t been relevant in years, was a contender. At the restart even Bill Elliott was within shouting distance of 1st place.

When you come down to it, that’s what really makes restrictor plate racing appealing. Anyone can win.

Where were you when Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500?