Technically, the Daytona 500 is just another of the 36 Sprint Cup 500 mile stock car races, this one held in February at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. But that is like saying Brad Keselowski had an “okay” year in 2012, or that Jimmie Johnson is a “pretty good” driver. The Great American Race every year is guaranteed to have at least one massive, multi-car collision which helps dictate the winner, as well as bumper tapping, paint trading excitement.
Traditionally the kick-off event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, it is one of only four restrictor plate races on the year. Since 1995, U.S. TV ratings for the Daytona 500 have been higher for this race than any other the entire year, even the Indy 500. And there is very good reason. The talent displayed by the 43 drivers that will take the field this February 24 at 1 PM will be rewarded with the biggest prize money payout for any motorsports event held in the US.
Last year Matt Kenseth hoisted the Harley J. Earl trophy in Victory Lane for Roush Fenway Racing, the second time for both he and that race team. And despite the anticipation that builds for this premier racing event every year, race fans and drivers had to wait as a 30 hour rain delay pushed the Daytona 500 back to Monday night. But the delay did nothing to hamper the fiery start of an exciting Sprint Cup 2012 season.
Where else can you see jet fuel fires, the winning driver singing while wearing a Viking hat, a celebrated rookie, a 5-time Sprint Cup champ and six others in a huge collision after only one lap and 600 feet and Tide laundry detergent saving the day? Only in the Daytona 500 Race, my friend. Juan Pablo Montoya never met a wreck he didn’t like, but the wreck attracting driver took his penchant for smash-ups to another level when he slammed into a jet dryer truck, igniting a fiery jet-fuel inferno under caution. This caused an extended delay, only solved when Tide laundry detergent was used to remove the fuel from the track.
Vegas odds on Daytona 500 drivers likely to win this year have already seen plenty of movement, as there are no previous races to use as judgments for the drivers. This one race can truly change the life and fortunes of the determined driver who outlasts the field at this storied racetrack, so they lay it all on the line. Will Kenseth go back to back and get number three, does JJ “5 Time” or Kevin Harvick have what it takes to nab their second Daytona 500 win, or will the much hyped Danica Patrick smell victory lane in her first full Sprint Cup season? One thing is for certain, if you miss the 55th running of the Daytona 500 this year, you will miss one of the most amazing spectacles in sport. You can get in on some exciting betting action for the Daytona 500 at Bovada Sports and get up to $250 in free bonus money.