WOW! Now THAT Is What You Call a SHOOTOUT Finish!

Posted by imelda sovzky on Sunday, February 19, 2012

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0.013 of a second..yep that’s all that stood between Heroand Zero (well technically second place rather than first) at the 2012Budweiser Shootout at the Daytona International Speedway Saturday, February 18,2012. Less than a QUARTER OF A SECOND between the driver I love to hate - (TonyStewart) and the driver I love to hate...Kyle Busch....seriously...not a fan. Ishould probably clarify something, Kyle is a wheel man. He can drive the wheelsoff of anything and has clearly proved that time and time again. That man candrive. Period. I just can’t get past his persona, his attitude...his, well....HIM!

The Bud Shootout has always been billed as the wild rideintro to each year’s racing season and this year did not disappoint. As a fanwatching, with no points on the line, you always root for your driver and/orhis team mates. But holy smokes, depending on who your team is...there were notmany left standing on Saturday night in Daytona! With a fast driven fun fillednight under the stars, the fans were left rooting for not too many drivers inthe field, and trust me Kyle was not my pick (with all of Hendrick’s drivers inthe garage I was honestly throwing my support behind Brad Kesolowski... forsome reason, I like this guy. I respect his driving. Yes he is not the “cleanest”but neither was Dale Sr. lol.)

My personal “scary Nascar crash moment” ofthe night came with only two laps to go and Jeff Gordon when skidding for whatseemed like an eternity on the driver’s side before flipping as my Gramma usedto say “ass over tea kettle” multiple times then finally and thankfully landingon its roof. Rescuers rushed to the scene and after a few moments pulled Gordonout of the vehicle seemingly unharmed, though not the same can be said abouthis car. Gordon was treated at Daytonainfield medical center, and later released.

KyBu would naturally whine later on the postrace telecast stating he “needed to talk to the 24 to find out what that wasall about”. Gordon explained the incident, saying, “Every time I got to Kyle’sbumper, he just started getting so sideways, like he was a lot tonight.” It’scalled BUMP DRAFTING Kyle!

The return to pack racing also brought a return to theold-fashioned slingshot that once made Daytona unique. Busch hooked up withTony Stewart in a final-lap dance to separate from the field, then pulled tothe outside of the defending Cup champion and crossed the finish line so closeyou needed a slow-motion camera to determine who won. What a thrill for all ofus yelling at our televisions trying to figure out who exactly won (as much asI hate to admit, I was really praying for Tony!). I was wrong. However the fanslove this kind of finish!!!  Tony Stewart agreed: "It wasdefinitely a lot more fun, and you felt a lot more eager to be engaged in therace this way than in the two car deal," he said. "I actually had funracing at Daytona again, which I haven't had for a while, so I'm really, reallyappreciative to the work that NASCAR has done in the offseason, and the testsession, and even after the test of the changes that they made to try to makeit better for us out there. I don't know what the consensus is from everybodyelse, but I had more fun as a driver than what we've had in the past”.

So thisis the official kick off to Speed Week and the Great American Race- The Daytona500. I will be reporting back later in the week, post qualifying with myhopefuls and happenings prior to engines being fired! Although no longer driving for Team Hendrick, my pick has to be Mark Martin. Please if there is a God in Nascar Heaven...he will allow Mark a Daytona 500 win before he gets sent to the retired driver's stables....

Itreally really really really makes me feel like chewing drywall nails to say this butcongratulations Kyle Busch on [robbing Tony Stewart of..]... winning the 2012 Budweiser Shootout....

side note...thank you to my Dad for coming home with a lovely Tony Stewart Office Depot #14 Nascar jacket for me........if will wear it...hopefully nobody pelts me with stones and vegetables and stuff...but I promise I will wear it!!! :)))

By Sherri Breaton
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