The Daytona 500 has come and gone but Speedweeks was eventful from start to finish. Here are three things that piqued my interest from the weekend that was the Daytona 500.
SAFER Barriers or the lack there of…
As Danica Patrick slammed into the wall during the Daytona 500, I screamed out loud. It is not the first time we have seen drivers go head on into a wall at any race track. When she was interviewed later, she looked visibly shaken. How there are no SAFER Barriers around every track is incomprehensible to me. Jeff Gordon’s hard wreck at Richmond, Las Vegas and Denny Hamlin at Auto Club Speedway come to mind. Both suffered back injuries albeit Hamlin’s forced him to miss races. The tracks added safer barriers but at Daytona of all the tracks there should be no areas lacking safer barriers. The technology is there and I don’t care about the cost. I don’t want a driver getting seriously injured or worse because it’s not installed. The cost is of installation shouldn’t outweigh safety.
Kasey Kahne’s speeding penalty…while avoiding a wreck on pit road.
If not for Twitter, I thought it was just a speeding penalty. But then the tweets started flooding my timeline and I paid closer attention to the replay. Sure enough, Kahne had to speed up to avoid getting smashed in the side by a spinning Michael Annett. Other drivers have come down pit road to avoid a wreck at full speed and not been penalized. So what is the difference in this instance? Kahne was unfairly penalized and in the long run cost them a chance to contend for the win. In football it is called swallowing the whistle; NASCAR knowing what was going on around Kahne should have done just that.
Two of the top contenders for Rookie of the Year this season didn’t exactly have the easiest of races. Kyle Larson scraped the wall several times and sustained considerable damage to his car. He never recovered from these early miscues and got wrapped up in a late race wreck with Austin Dillon. Dillon started on the pole but faded into the pack. Once the race resumed at night, he hit just about everything he could, including his teammates. He finished a respectable ninth.
Read the recap from the Daytona 500 here: http://ow.ly/tYIIO