Tuesday, February 22, 2011


What were you doing the day after you turned 20? I was probably nursing a hangover and eating Thanksgiving leftovers. The day after Trevor Bayne turned 20, he won the Daytona 500, and pocketed $1.46 million for doing so.

The race was long, with a very boring stretch in the middle. 16 cautions slowed the pace. Most of the race featured 4 to 8 cars out in front, casually swapping the lead, and a pack of 20 cars half a mile behind them jockeying for position. Every now and then, a random wreck would eliminate a few contenders.

In the last 10 laps, things got exciting, as the casual lead swapping turned into something a bit more competitive. Bayne was able to get to the front and stay there, blocking two cars down the stretch.

It was cool to see Bayne's excitement. He didn't know what to do to celebrate, got lost driving to victory lane, and he's not even going to be a full time Sprint Cup driver this year. He'll be in the Nationwide Series (NASCAR's equivalent to AAA), driving for Roush-Fenway.

My favorite moment of the race was watching Juan Pablo Montoya's inhuman control of his car. He nearly spun out twice, but was able to save it by locking the brakes, then flooring the throttle, then locking the brakes, then flooring the throttle, all while violently sawing the steering wheel.

And I probably won't watch a full race until March 20, when NASCAR visits the high-banked short track in Bristol, Tennessee.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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