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Sunday, July 3, 2011

DAYTONA 400










 
David Ragan won the race, made a good run all the way through to the finish line. Only three cars lost control through the course of the race and none of them caused any problem to other cars. Then with 3 laps to go somebody lost it, and, again, no problem for other cars. This put a yellow flag into motion. Before, the cars had been spread out all the way around the track so the leaders were beginning to lap the slower cars. During the caution, nearly all the cars that started the race were in pack formation looking like an interstate around Raleigh at "rush" hour. When it came time to go, the race was on. Cars 3-wide, bumper to bumper, 190mph, everybody wanting to get out in front, somebody tapped somebody's back bumper in the wrong place, the car lost traction and went sideways with brakes on in front of the pack. It made a mess.



Another caution, and the very same thing happened again. Coming out of the 4th turn in the first of 3 laps to go, up in front of the pack a car went sideways and cars scattered every which way. I'm always awed at how far a car can slide on pavement the same as on ice with brakes locked down at 190mph. The 3rd startup after the caution wasn't so messy. The surviving cars finished without another incident. The race was characterized by teammates running double, front bumper of back car touching back bumper of car in front. All of them did that throughout the race, switching from time to time, taking turns leading. Until almost the end, it was a smooth race of cars and drivers going all out, running as fast as they could make the cars go. 198 and 199 in the stretch between curves, and 184 and 185 in the curves. An environmentaist's nightmare.  



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