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The Daytona 500

Today is the 53rd running of NASCAR’s Super bowl event, The Daytona 500 and already some big news is coming from Florida.  Some things to watch for as forty-three of the best stock car drivers in the world compete in “The Great American Race.”   

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR)

 

A grueling 500 mile race, known in NASCAR as the Great American Race, The Daytona 500 is held at the Daytona International Speedway.  It is the Super Bowl for NASCAR.   It is also the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr’s. “The Intimitator” death, a driver that is credited for NASCAR’s popularity. Today on lap 3 (his number) there will be a moment of silence.   Raise three fingers in the air and just listen to the sound of the engines roar around the 2 1/2 mile track.  

It was also announced that the 2012 Daytona 500 will be held Feb. 26, a week later than normal. The decision eliminated the early off date and shortened the Sprint Cup season, so no races will be lost.  NASCAR’s move to push back the “Great American Race” came ahead of the potential expansion of the NFL season to an 18-game schedule that could delay the Super Bowl.  

“We have a very short offseason,” said NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell. “This gives us a little more time shortening up the season.” 

Another story within the race is that the track has been repaved. If you have watched the Daytona 500 in the past, this year will be a whole lot different as drivers will try to pair up to draft their way around the track. Speeds will reach close to 200 or more miles per hour.  Trying to predict a winner is nearly impossible, as a driver could be leading, fall out of the draft and be in 30th in a matter of seconds. 

This is a restrictor plate race, limiting the power of the engine thus lowering the  speed.  There will be crashes, cautions and plenty of lead changes, it should be an exciting race to watch.  Dont miss the last 10 laps, thats when all the rules get thrown out the window and drivers race to the finish line.  There could even be the Big One, a crash that will take out many contenders.    Let’s hope for a great exciting race – watch closely, pick your drivers and be ready to play the Pit Crew Challenge (Fantasy Nascar) at Q103albany.com.

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