Saturday, February 6, 2010
NASCAR Returns To Daytona: Qualifying and Budwesier Shootout
While it is not the official beginning of the season, tonight is the beginning of racing for the 2010 NASCAR season, as the Budweiser Shootout begins within the hour on Fox Broadcast. Rules for the 75-lap event can be found at Jayski.com here, and if you like NASCAR enough that you wish to be part of an online discussion you can go to The Daly Planet where there is a live blog ongoing.
While the race is exciting, it is not a points race. The official beginning of the NASCAR season actually took place earlier today, as Mark Martin won the pole position for next Sunday's Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start beside Martin on the front row. Thursday afternoon will be the Gatorade Duels, which are two races of 150 miles each. Those two races determine the balance of the starting positions for the 500 on February 14, as well as determine two of the final qualifying teams. For more information about the qualifying rules for the Daytona 500 (which can be rather confusing) check out Jayski's page here.
On a sad note, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has stepped down from his active role as team owner and operations manager as his wife Lynda has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
The Petty family has been a part of NASCAR since its inception, and the family created and operates Victory Junction Gang Camp in honor of Richard and Lynda's grandson Adam, who was killed in a racing crash in 2000. It was his dream to create a charity that helped children who could not attend "normal" summer camps. Victory Junction Gang Camp is a charity that offers terminally ill children a chance to enjoy camping and life experiences, at no cost to the families of the afflicted.