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Hell Of A Mess At Daytona

by admin on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

NASCARThey filled the stands at the Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night. All the preliminaries got done but the race never really got started because of the rain. One quick look at the radar for central Florida left no doubt that there would be no race at Daytona that Saturday.

So the race was moved to around noontime on Sunday. Unfortunately, the big rain storm hardly moved at all, just a little bit out to sea. There were still scattered showers and dark grey skies around the Daytona area before the race got started.

Die hard NASCAR fans who braved the weather once again to come out to the track on Sunday ended up seeing a shortened race, but plenty of action. There were two dandy wrecks with bunches of cars being collected and going sideways down the Daytona raceway at over 100 miles an hour. Thank goodness that no one was hurt.

Kyle Bush even ended up upside-down after the second big dust-up out there as Kasey Kahne in the number 5 car got sideways when everyone was all bunched together three wide and took out most of the big guns in the race with a single stroke. Kyle laughed about it later but it’s got to be a bit scary hanging upside down in one of those cars with confusion going on all around you.

The race finally ended after the remaining drivers had completed lap 112 because of the continuing rain. According to NASCAR regulations, a race can be called complete after half of the designated laps have been run. The Coke Zero 400 consisted of 160 laps, so the race could be called, and a winner named, after 80 laps.

The race was won by young Aric Almirola driving the number 43 car for Richard Petty Racing.  Long time NASCAR fans might well remember that the last time the number 43 car won at Daytona it was being driven by the King himself, Richard Petty, the night he drove to his 200th and final NASCAR victory.

That was 30 years ago and this past Sunday Aric Almirola lucked himself into a place in the NASCAR history books. He happened to be in the lead by virtue of all the previous wreckage when the race was called and he ended up in the winner’s circle drinking champagne for the first win of his career. What a trip!

It must have been a very proud moment for Richard Petty as well.

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