Sunday, February 23, 2014

Daytona 500 Rain Delay Review - 38 Laps In

Decided to kill some time during this rain delay and look at how a few drivers are doing close to the 100 mile mark.

Kyle Busch: He struggled in the qualifying race Thursday night due to his splitter dragging, and as a result, had to start way back in 37th.  However, the car is really fast today, and it took just a handful of laps to reach the top 10.  He led the last six laps before the delay and looks like he might be the guy to beat.

Denny Hamlin: The undisputed favorite going in after winning the Shootout last week and his qualifying race Thursday, Hamlin has been a contender so far.  He led 10 laps early, and would have had led more had his engine not started to overheat due to trash on the grille.  He was able to fall back in traffic where the dirty air knocked the trash off, and his temperatures fell back to normal.  So far, Kyle and he look to have the fastest cars.

Kurt Busch:  While Hamlin and Kyle Busch have been fast, it’s been Kyle’s brother Kurt who has led the most laps so far.  He got shuffled out of the draft shortly before the rain delay, so we will have to see how he can do coming back up through the field.

Matt Kenseth:  The two-time 500 winner and man he led the most laps in this race last year has struggled.  After starting in the inside of row 1, he wasn’t able to stay up front and fell back to mid-pack.  During his first pit stop, Kenseth spun out on pit road, which cost him even more track position.  He is currently being scored in the 27th position.

Kyle Larson: The rookie who some expect to be the next big star has had a terrible start to this years 500.  He got in the wall a couple of laps in and had a tire go down shortly after.  The green flag stop cost him a lap, but it only got worse.  He brought out the first caution around lap 20 when he lost control of the 42 Target Chevy, causing some splitter damage.  His problems have happened early though, and after the caution for Martin Truex's blown engine, he was able to get the free pass and is back on the lead lap.  

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