By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
All week we heard Danica, Danica, Danica… and you can’t blame everyone for talking about her it was a huge story, but Tony Stewart reminded us Saturday she wasn’t the only story.
Stewart escaped all of the carnage that ensued in the exciting 120-lap event; including a 12-car-pileup that took Danica herself out of the race on lap 68. Stewart would go on to lead a race-high 38 laps en route to his fifth win in this event in the past six seasons… pretty impressive, and not even mentioned as a storyline throughout the week leading up to the race.
What other headlines did we miss out on in the week leading up to the DRIVE4COPD 300?
Well how about the fact that four Wallaces (Kenny, Steve, Mike and Chrissy) all competed on the same day. They had mixed results ranging from top-10 to a 43rd place finish, but they all competed none-the-less, and hardly anybody said anything about it…
So now that the season opening Nationwide race is in the books we must not let the important storylines that have come from it go unnoticed.
How about this… Paul Menard didn’t make the field when qualifying was rained out, but he bought his way into the field, and ruffled some feathers on lap one. However in the end Menard finished in sixth. He now keeps his chances at a Nationwide championship realistic after one event.
Or Brian Keselowski, that’s right Brian not Brad, finished 11th in a car he owns himself. Brian Keselowski has been fighting for several seasons now mostly starting and parking his way to where he is now… but he made it through mostly unscathed from the several crashes that plagued the race for his best career finish.
Brad has a storyline brewing himself. He is kinda becoming the guy that is always around when there is controversy. He has had his run ins with Denny Hamlin, well Saturday he also had an encounter with Kyle Busch on the final lap. It will be interesting to see if the Keselowski vs Joe Gibbs Racing fued will continue during the Daytona 500.
Well if that’s not enough for you to think about… How about that with his win in this race Tony Stewart is now tied for the third most wins at Daytona all-time with Cale Yarborough at 15 wins. Bobby Allison is second on the list with 16 victories at Daytona, and Dale Earnhardt (who literally could see the air) has the record with 34 career victories at Daytona.
In the end it was a great start to the Nationwide Series season. The race had it all passing, bump drafting and even a tense moment when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got airborn. The over 80,000 people in attendance got their moneys worth, and Nascar is off to a great start in 2010.