Well, that was great storybook ending to the Daytona race. It's nice to see a new Sprint Cup winner and team in Victory Lane and even better when he's driving the 43 car in Daytona on almost the anniversary of the King's 200th (and last) win in 1999 and even better yet when he's driving for the U.S. Air Force on the Fourth of July weekend.
My cable provider went down this weekend so I was frantically following the live leaderboard on NASCAR.com plus tuning into some other sites to try to keep up with what was going on, cussing and pacing all the while.
Most of the drivers I pull for got damaged or wiped completely out in the first melee. I was pretty much rooting for Danica after that. Her car was slightly wounded in both of the big wrecks. (We thought the first one was the Big One but it was the second that turned out to be the REALLY Big One). Still, she managed to slick her way through them and finish up in 8th, tying her previous top finish.
In the end, I was happy to see the Aric Almirola's pure joy in Victory Lane at being able to pull off a win for his owner and the Air Force. Not to mention, getting an automatic berth into the Chase. I don't think he has a prayer of actually competing for a championship but just being there will means tons more exposure for RPM and his sponsors, always a good thing. RPM has gone through a lot of hardship to get to this point.
And I don't want to hear about rain-shortened victories not counting as much. Aric was there, in the front, at the right time. If he hadn't put himself in that position, fighting off Kurt Busch and Brian Vickers, he wouldn't have been there. So, no asterisks, please.....a win is a win is a win.
For myself, I'm glad Daytona is over. Restrictor plate racing is my least favorite kind. I've missed two races in a row - one because I was traveling and one because of my cable provider. Next week, I'm just hoping to be plumped in my recliner chair with my pop and my cigarettes watching from the green flag to the checkered.