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Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Like Old Times (for this Mopar fan)

Yesterday was the 50th running of the Daytona 500, and Nascar did an excellent job celebrating the occasion by rolling out and displaying much of its history prior to the race. As a fan for more than three decades, I never get tired of the old clips, especially when they involve my all time favorite, Richard Petty, or any other Mopar driver beating the hell out of the competition; and I was smiling from ear to ear at the end of yesterday's 500 as well.
The talk for two weeks and then some was how unbeatable the Hendrick Chevys were going to be, especially with the addition of the best plate track racer, Dale Jr; and how strong Toyota had become with the addition of Joe Gibbs Racing. The only talk related to Dodge and Ford was how they weren't up to snuff with the other two makes.
Well, qualifying fast looks good and winning nonpoint qualifying races looks better, but the real trophy goes to those who race smart and improve over 500 miles; and that's just what the Dodge Chargers (just the name takes me back) did yesterday...they won. Congratulations Ryan Newman.
Kasey Kahne had a top 10 car all day and the Penske Chargers were frequent visitors there as well; but other than that the leader board was mostly full of Chevys and Toyotas for the first 3/4 of the race, when other than being on TV for the sponsors it didn't mean anything.
But look at all the Chargers in the top 15 at the end of the race: The top 2, 3 of the top 5, 6 of the top 10, 8 of the top 15 (one of those being the 43).
Now I realize that none of the top 3 teams in Nascar drive Dodges but here's hoping that yesterday was a sign that Dodge is much closer to them than they have been in recent years.