Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tony Stewart Wins The Daytona 400 With An Unbelievable Last Lap Multi-Car Crash !

The Daytona 400 was run Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway and although the middle part of the race was a little tedious, the final laps proved to be interesting indeed.

Tony Stewart led the majority of the laps and had the dominant car, leading a race-high 86 laps and using a flawless pit-road performance to set himself up for his second win as owner of his race team. In what's becoming a Nascar norm, the caution flag came out with less than 10 laps to go creating an almost guaranteed scenario for a last lap multi-car crash.

The video's shown in today's post are an after the fact analysis by the commentators, including former race driver Kyle Petty. The first video gives the best generalization of the final laps and the second video has a more close up view with several fantastic shots of the final crash. Remember to turn off the sound from my music playlist before viewing the videos.

On the restart, Tony Stewart took the lead with Kyle Busch on his outside. Stewart was followed by Denny Hamlin while Bush was followed by Jimmy Johnson.

Busch, in an excellent outside move, took the lead just before the last lap. Stewart chased him down and closed in on Busch’s bumper, and slight contact sent Busch drifting up the track.

Busch drove back down to maintain his lead, then tried to slide in front of Stewart to block Stewart’s next move. The cars were too close together and Stewart hooked Busch’s right corner to send Busch sailing into the wall.

The end result was a multi-car crash with Stewart winning the race. Jimmy Johnson finished second with Denny Hamlin finishing third.

Kyle Busch is probably one of the most talented drivers I've ever seen. His main problems are his lack of patience and his temper. Busch's first block on Stewart was considered "an allowable block" by most race car drivers, but his second block, under existing Nascar rules, left Stewart no choice but to hold his position and sent Busch into the outside retaining wall.

Under current Nascar rules, a driver cannot pass another driver by going below the double yellow stripe on the inside lane of the track. This rule was tested at a 2008 race at Talladega International Speedway when rookie Regan Smith passed leader Tony Stewart on the last lap. Stewart had moved down to block Smith and Smith, rather that turn Stewart and crash him, went below the yellow line to effect the pass.

Nascar, contrary to it's own rules which allow the driver to go below the yellow line if forced there, ruled the pass illegal and Regan was placed in 18th position. This ruling sent a message to the drivers that, in any future race, should the leading car attempt to block, a driver should hold his ground and let the chips fall where they may.

Combine this with the new rule that all restarts, including restarts with less than ten laps to go, will be started double file and you can predict what will happen next. The aforementioned is the perfect recipe for the type of last lap multi-car crash that was seen on Saturday night.

Although exciting, my thinking is that there will be new rules effected soon to alleviate the possibility of the dangerously famous last lap crashes.

That's it for now my little bumper cars. More soon.

Stay Tuned !


garnett109 said...

that was an amazing race

natalie said...

dear Jimmy
what a nice tale!
thanks for telling us about it!