The Daytona 500 Was a Wild Ride This Year
This year’s Daytona 500 was a wild ride that resulted in a scrapefest with two impressive pileups during the race (one with 17 cars worth of havoc and the other with 11). The winning car was a testament to the damage ensued during the whole race. Kurt Busch led the Monster-sponsored number 41 car through the finish line for the first Great American Race win in his career. After 17 attempts and rebuilding his career from a professional slump for the past two years, Busch redeems himself with the big win finishing .228 seconds ahead of second-place Ryan Blanely.
The race was certainly a crazy one this year that unfortunately led to a lot of disappointment for hopefuls trying to attain the trophy. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chase Elliott walked off the track and ignored media after running out of gas on the white-flag lap and coming in 14th place. Other drivers, Kyle Larson, Martin Treux Jr. and Paul Menard, also disappointingly ran out of fuel at the end of the race adding to the disorder of an already tumultuous race.
Retired driver and now part-owner Tony Stewart watched and rooted for Busch from the benches while commenting on the irony of the situation. Stewart mentioned that he should have retired 17 years ago, if he knew it would have won him the race. Stewart, a long-time idol of the sport, never did win his Daytona 500, but as an owner, he and his team finally crossed the finish line.
Busch was excited for his win and for his team. Even in a car with rubbed off decals and a missing rear-view mirror on the final green-flag run, he took home the checkered flag and won his first Daytona.
To the dismay of many fans, his achievement has gained little recognition in the media for a sport that has consistently been decreasing in popularity over the past decade. And though the win brought great publicity for Busch’s sponsor, Monster, there is skepticism that Monster may soon drop out of NASCAR altogether and focus on other sponsorship’s in alternative sports. With their primary demographic being millennials, it appears Monster may not have a long-term interest in NASCAR with its older public.
Races like these are meant to instill a sense of excitement and entertainment for the sport, but things don’t seem to be changing anytime soon in the NASCAR scene. All in all, the Daytona this year was a pure spectacle of disarray and fun for the hardcore fans that watched it.
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