Breathtaking passes for the lead, devastating wrecks that took out contender after contender and an emotionally charged win are only a few of the things that took center stage during Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. With that being said and everything else that occurred during The Great American race in mind, its easy to miss a few things along the way.
Of course its easy to miss a thing from time to time and that’s why we’re glad to bring you the five things you may have missed during this year’s Daytona 500.!
NASCAR Driver to be punished for drug reference?
It was one of those moments that took your breath away as a NASCAR fan.
That moment when you suddenly looked at the front of the field after Almirola got taken out and realized that The #3 would finally go back to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway. Of course Austin Dillon had to take out Aric Almirola in dramatic fashion to get there, but the fact that it was 20 years after Dale Earnhardt’s historic Daytona 500 win and 17 years after his untimely death made the result much easier to swallow.
Unfortunately for Darrell Wallace Jr, who had to settle for second after nailing Austin Dillon in the back and pushing him to the lead, he also had to deal with a dirty move from a veteran afterwards as well. In fact, the driver in question was none other then Denny Hamlin, who rode the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Cheverolet up in to the wall after the cars crossed the finish line.
For those younger fans that are a little confused about the historic signifance of Sunday afternoons race at Daytono, Austin Dillon’s win in the number #3 car came 17 years to the day after Dale Earnhardt lost his life in the 2001 Daytona 500. It was also 20 years after The Intimidator won The 500 in 1998, which only added to the unique situation.
With that being said, Austin Dillon, who rocketed the #3 machine to victory lane after a late bump sent Aric Almirola spinning out of control and celebrated by doing Earnhardt’s signature burn outs in the grass after the race. Of course he also did a dab, which could have been a quick shoutout to The Paul brothers, but i think we can forgive him for that.
Record breaking run
Darrell Wallace Jr might have come up short in his efforts of winning The Daytona 500 in his rookie season, but he did achieve a place in history with his second place finish in Sunday’s race. The second place finish, which left Bubba Wallace Jr in tears during a post race press conference marks the best finish for an African American driver in The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.
Another significant fact about Darrell Wallace Jr’s record breaking run is the fact that he is the first full time Cup Series driver since Wendall Scott to compete full time in The Cup Series as well. In the end, it may not have been a win and Wallace Jr might have a way’s to go before he gets a win, but he is arguably closer then ever to that result!
Donald Trump makes controversial tweet about The Daytona 500
NASCAR held its biggest race of the year Sunday afternoon and while most of the attention stayed on the young stars battling it out with the veterans for the prestigious title, the sport made a couple other headlines as well after Donald Trump decided to promote them on Twitter. Unfortunately for NASCAR and its fans, Trump’s followers were more interested in his thoughts on gun control and the Olympics to watch The Great American Race.
My great friends from NASCAR are having their big race today The Daytona 500,” Donald Trump said in a tweet only four days after a gunmen took the lives of 17 people in a Florida school, ” . “Brian France and the France family are special people. Enjoy the race!”
Aric Almirola responds to being wrecked on the last lap
“My heart is broken,” Aric Almirola told NASCAR On Fox after the wreck “… It was the last lap and we’re all trying to win the Daytona 500. It’s the biggest race of the year and it’s a career-changing race, so we were just racing really aggressively. I put every move I knew to try and stay in the lead and, unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to hold on.”
“He got to my back bumper and was pushing, and just hooked me.”
While a lot of fans probably aren’t sold on Aric Almirola yet, especially after his sub-par performance at Richard Petty Motorsports over the past couple of years, his response was very respectful and indicative of someone who has a very good head on his shoulders. If nothing else, its at least a sign that he may have the poise to bring the #10 car to some success in 2018.