“I’m a Daytona 500 pound woman. I’m Daytona 500 pound gal” Haywood Banks!” ……Kurt Busch won his first Daytona 500 last Sunday driving a Ford powered car that was held together by duct tape and chewing gun in a race that was described as a 500 mile demolition derby. This was his 17th start at Daytona. This was the first Daytona to be run under a new three stage format, that is so confusing that even I don’t quite get it. Kurt’s brother Kyle Busch won the first stage. Kevin Harvick took the second stage win. There were a lot of accidents and yellow lights totaling 40 laps. The last 47 laps of the race stayed green even with some bumps, scrapes and flying metal. Kyle Larson made a bold move to lead the last two laps but ran out of gas and Busch made a move to swing by him coming out of the fourth turn on lap 200 to win by .028 of a second over 2016 Rookie of the Year Ryan Blaney and A. J. Allmendinger third. Larson finished twelfth. Many of the top drivers were eliminated because of wrecks and a new rule that prevent badly damaged cars from reentering the race.
For Kurt Bush, there was one vindication in his victory. He was suspended from driving the race in 2015 because of a domestic abuse allegation from his then girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Eventually the charges were dropped, but he did miss both Daytona and Atlanta. The 38-year-old driver has 29 career cup victories. Most fans were happy about his win if not how the race was conducted.
The three stage rule for races is yet another attempt to boost declining television ratings and attract new fans, as much of the NASCAR fan base has gotten older and has been adversely affected by the economy. The loss of some of the old races such as the Southern 500 at the old Darlington Speedway in North Carolina has not helped, either. NASCAR is more of a sport that attracts a white, blue collar fan base and the attempt to attract a more affluent and diverse fan base has not worked and has served to turn off the base that they have. The sport will continue to try to find a formula that will make everyone happy.
NFL Combine Begins
Tuesday February 28th, representatives from all 32 teams, along with the national media, met at Lucas Oil Stadium to take a gander at the top three hundred college football prospects for the upcoming NFL draft starting April 27th. The players are divided into position groups such as quarterback, line backer, defensive line, wide receiver, etc. and then put through strength, speed, agility, and jumping tests to determine their professional playing potential. It’s also the first chance for teams to talk to the individual players and their agents to see what they will have to face in contract negotiations should they decide to draft said player. So if you see some large young men who are closely followed by some older men in expensive suits tripping around downtown, the are most likely here for the combine.
Colts Lineman Pulls a D&D
Over this last weekend, Indianapolis Colt defensive lineman David Parry, while in Scottsdale Arizona attacked a golf cart taxi driver, stole his golf cart, crashed it and resisted arrest when the cops arrived. Alcohol was indefinably involved. The driver of the cart had pick up Parry and his party at one bar and dropped them at another. When the driver asked for payment Parry started the altercation which led to his arrest. Parry graduated from Stanford in 2015 and was drafted by the Colts that same year on the fourth round. He has shown some talent in all 32 games of his brief career. The Colts and the NFL are investigating the matter.