Despite the horrific accident at Daytona yesterday, the Daytona 500 will kick off today, February 24th, at 1:00 pm EST.
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A devastating crash has halted festivities on the eve of the Daytona 500 with wreckage from a crash on the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300 sending 11 fans to hospital.
General Motors president Mark Reuss will drive the Chevrolet SS pace car this weekend to begin the Daytona 500.
Danica Patrick has become the first woman to win the pole position at a NASCAR top-division race and she did so today during qualifying for the biggest event of the year, the Daytona 500.
Despite the dramatic explosion, folks didn’t seem to care very much for this year’s Daytona 500.
After experiencing the first-ever rain postponed race at Daytona, the event itself took a while to get started after a multi-car wreck on the first lap and then another two hour delay when Juan Pablo Montoya collided with a jet turbine track dryer, erupting into flames. Eventually, Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line to win the race.
Despite the multiple unforeseen surprises, or because of them, the 2012 Daytona 500 pulled a TV rating of 8.0, the race’s second lowest TV rating since 1995. According to Fox Sports, more than 11 hours of live coverage was provided over the span of three days. An average of 13.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the race, significantly lower than last year’s 15.6 million viewers.
In 1995, The Daytona 500 drew 11.4 million viewers for a rating of 7.8. The lowest TV rating since 1995 goes to 2010, when Fox only drew 13.3 million viewers for a rating of 7.7. Finally, the title for the highest rating belongs to the 2006 event, when NBC drew 19.4 million viewers and earned itself a rating of 11.3.
[Source: Inside Line]
This year’s running of the legendary Daytona 500 NASCAR race was interesting to say the least.
The tale starts with a storm, quite a large rain storm, that left the track soaking wet through Sunday, causing NASCAR officials to push the race back a day. This was the first time in the Daytone 500′s 54 consecutive years of running that the race has been displaced a day thanks to rain. The rain troubles continued into Monday morning, causing NASCAR to once again push back the race to 7pm Monday night.
Finally the track dried and the scene was set for the great American race. Things started off with a bang after a serious wreck in the second lap. There were a few pile-ups throughout, but the wreck-of-the night award goes to Jaun-Pablo Montoya, famed F1 driver turned NASCAR left-hand turner.
Montoya was running well back from the pack coming into turn three under a yellow flag when some mechanical bit on his car failed, causing the car to careen directly into a jet dryer truck that was out blowing debris off the track. The result was a fireball of epic proportions, which is more enjoyable to watch now because we know that both Jaun Pablo Montoya and the driver of the jet dryer were, for the most part, unharmed. The track jet blowers on these trucks are powered by kerosene, which unfortunately started spilling all over the track after the crash, further augmenting the flames.
After another two hour and five minute delay under a red flag, the drivers got back to racing, but not before driver Brad Keselowski managed to tweet a picture he took from the behind the wheel of his #22 Dodge Challenger. Keselowski’s live tweeting from pit row gained him over 100,000 twitter followers in the two-hour gap.
You can find the crash video, Keselowski’s twitter pics and other highlights from the 2012 Daytona 500 below.
GALLERY: Daytona 500 Brad Keselowski Pictures
Yesterday, the Daytona 500 was cancelled for the first time in its 53-year-old history due to weather. Heavy rains have been falling in the Daytona, Florida area and even though NASCAR hoped to start the race today at 12:00PM EST, it has been postponed once again until 7:00PM EST.
Everything surrounding The Great American race has been exciting so far, especially all the buzz around Danica Patrick. But it will be Carl Edwards that will start on the pole when and if the race gets underway. The opening race also marks the debut of electronic fuel injection to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as the debut of a 2012 Toyota Camry as the pace car.
One of only 5,700 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo Pace cars is up for sale, in mint condition and clearly a nice collectible. It sports only 11,285-miles on the odometer with an asking price of $29,900 – which is a killer deal for any classic car collector. The Turbo Pace Car was built to commemorate the first time one car paced both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 in the same year.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 301 V8 with 236-hp and 345 lb-ft of torque, and like the rest of the car has been untouched. Maintenance was done on the vehicle from 1980 all the way to 2011, with the only major restoration that was done recently was a fresh paint job of GM Cameo White. All body panels are original and straight, and the Oyster interior features optional doeskin vinyl with hobnail cloth inserts, all of which are in excellent condition.
Check out a video showcasing this beauty after the break.
GALLERY: 1980 Trans Am Turbo Pace Car
[Source: RK Motors Charlotte]
It’s official – Danica Patrick will be making her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 2012 season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500.
Patrick’s schedule with Stewart-Haas Racing will begin on Feburary 26 with “The Great American Race.” Other races on her schedule include Darlington, Bristol, Atlanta, Dover, Texas and Phoenix.
“Each year, the Daytona 500 produces unforgettable moments that forever change the lives of fans and drivers,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. This year’s race sees Patrick as the third woman to compete in the Daytona 500. She follows Janet Guthrie, who made two Daytona 500 starts in 1977 and 1980, and Shawna Robinson, with one Daytona 500 start in 2002.