Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Good Thing I Did Not Bet On Dale Jr.

NASCAR Race Mom spent three fun packed days playing in Laughlin, Nevada this weekend. Yes I know that was the Daytona 500 weekend. Not to worry, the race was streaming from televisions in every casino and restaurant we frequented. That was a good thing too; what with the six-hour – twenty minute rain delay – it would have been criminal to be stuck in a room somewhere waiting with the rest of NASCAR Fanatics.

If you are not familiar; Laughlin is a sliver of the Colorado River Valley where Nevada, California and Arizona meet. The city by the river now attracts nearly two million visitors annually and experience gambling and high-profile special events.

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Our group of four fun seekers relished our premium seats to the LeAnn Rimes concert. LeAnn Rimes is an American country and pop singer and her rich vocals entertained us on Saturday night.

Sunday was dedicated to the ‘500.’ NASCAR Race Mom had placed her bets early. You can do that in Laughlin! NRM put $5.00 each on Kyle Larson, Paul Menard, Brian Vickers, and Cole Whitt. Since Whitt was not listed separately, the bet was a “field” bet.


Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of NASCAR Race Mom’s favorite driver, I resisted the urge to bet on him. Probably a good thing, because the NRM jinx hit all of her Daytona 500 picks.

Sprint Cup Rookie Kyle Larson hit the wall at Daytona International Speedway twice in the opening laps of Sunday’s race. He was the first one drivers out of the race!

Austin Dillon (3), Kyle Larson (42), Danica Patrick (10), and others including Paul Menard crash
Austin Dillon (3), Kyle Larson (42), Danica Patrick (10), and others
including Paul Menard crash. (AP Photo/David Graham)

Paul Menard, in a backup car due to a wreck during Wednesday’s practice Wednesday, had led three times for twenty-three laps, getting to the front for five laps before the rain delay. He was also strong through the first full-field round of stops.

Unfortunately, a twelve-car wreck on lap 145 caused significant damage to the front of Menard's car. Repairing that damage cost him sixteen laps and he finished the race in thirty-second place.

"I had a really good car," Menard reported "We kind of got messed up on pit sequence a little bit, came out by ourselves once and got shuffled back, and that's about when everybody decided to wreck."

Brian Vickers fared a tad better. He managed to stay up front in the top five before the cycles of pit stops. Then on lap 162, he was collected in a multi-car incident when Pole Winner, Austin Dillon’s race car broke loose and triggered the pile up. Brian jumped to the high side, slammed on the brakes, but it was just too much, too fast- and he suffered significant damage to the car that dropped him out of contention and crossed the stripe at the end in 30th place.

“We had a good car, but just got caught up in one of the wrecks. A couple of those guys were just racing really aggressive and bouncing around, moving a lot. I knew it was a matter of time.” said Vickers.

NASCAR Race Mom still had one driver in the ‘Great American Race’ and had high hopes for Sprint Cup Rookie Cole Whitt. His race was going exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Austin Dillon gave teammate Ryan Newman a hard bump, sending him into the wall as he took out all the cars behind him. Yup, Cole Whitt was there and painted the Daytona Speedway wall his #26 Speed Stick Gear Toyota. Whitt finished the race in 28th position.

Ryan Newman (31), Brian Scott (33), Cole Whitt (26), Justin Allgaier (51), Terry Labonte (32) and Parker Kligerman (30)
Ryan Newman (31), Brian Scott (33), Cole Whitt (26), Justin Allgaier (51),
Terry Labonte (32) and Parker Kligerman (30) (AP Photo/Mike Troxell)

“We were in position for a great finish. I was nursing the No. 26 Speedstick GEAR Toyota late in the race because of some water pressure issues but with 20 to go crew chief Randy Cox gave the order that it was ”time to go.” We raced up into the top 20 but then got caught up in a wreck that also collected my teammate Parker Kligerman.” Whitt explained.

Bad News: NASCAR Race Mom did not win on any of her bets!

Good News: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominated a frantic two-lap dash to the finish to win his second Daytona 500.

Best News: NASCAR 2014 is here and made its arrival known with a thrilling event with a “feel good” ending.





Keep your eye on racing youngster, Cole Whitt. NASCAR Race Mom is predicting great finishes for him in his rookie season.

*****Keep your eye on racing youngster, Cole Whitt. NASCAR Race Mom is predicting great finishes for him in his rookie season.

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