Archive: February 2006

In the Superstretch Stands, Chilly but Warm

I went back to meet up with my peeps back in the Allison Tower grandstand on the Superstretch for today's Daytona 500. I've had seats there since they opened in 1998. Under the Allison grandstand, Duane Mainville, Joe Pagels and...

By | February 19, 2006; 7:48 PM ET | Comments (8)

Daytona 500 Results

Congrats to Jimmie Johnson! It wasn't even close to my hoped for outcome, but he's now a Daytona 500 champion. That's a pretty durned exclusive group! At least now he'll have to park that winning car for a year at...

By | February 19, 2006; 7:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Late Start

I got a little bit of a late jump-start this morning. I was up past midnight shooting pool and sharing beverages with my buddy Joe Pagels in the Ramada Inn lounge in Titusville, Fla., after spending some time with the...

By | February 19, 2006; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (6)

In the Infield, It's Springer vs. Hollywood

Eileen McComb's view from the top in the infield campground between turns 3 and 4 may soon disappear as long-time campers are being priced out. (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com) It's David vs. Goliath in the infield. In this case,...

By | February 19, 2006; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

O Canada?

Canada and NASCAR? Why not! I've mentioned in passing in some earlier posts that I've been finding a rather large contingent of Canadian fans here at the speedway. I guess I should say the contingent's larger than I would have...

By | February 19, 2006; 9:18 AM ET | Comments (1)

Sunday's Trivia Question

In honor of the late, great Dale Earnhardt, I'll make this question a tribute to him as we mark the fifth year since he lost his life on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt is Daytona...

By | February 19, 2006; 8:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

From the Bering Sea to Daytona

I talked today to a fan camped in the infield who traveled farther to attend Speedweek than anyone I'd met yet. Matt Baird made the trip from White Salmon, Wash., in the Columbia River Gorge. Matt Baird, camped out in...

By | February 18, 2006; 6:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Paying to Park

Dan Snyder, eat your heart out! Ever since 1997, when I first started coming to Daytona for the 500 weekend, the cost of parking in private lots across from the track has been jacked up by $5 to $10 each...

By | February 18, 2006; 5:36 PM ET | Comments (3)

Results: Stewart Wins Kissables in Front of 'Pinball' Finish

Tony Stewart won the Hershey's Kissables 300 today, driving around and away from the pack during an intense five-lap shootout at the end of the Busch race. In and of itself, that was really something to watch after the frontrunners...

By | February 18, 2006; 4:58 PM ET | Email a Comment

More Speedweek Photos

Superfan Jim Ruda Jr. sent me some more Speedweeks photos. Here's one of them. Click continue for another, along with a shot I took of some fans I met under the Roberts grandstand on the front stretch. Pork Racing's California...

By | February 18, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (1)

Terps Driver Runs the Toughest Race

Sometimes it just pays to be lucky. Jim Long's "do" says it all. (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com) As I was heading out to interview Busch driver Donnie Neuenberger, who was raised in Brandywine and lives in Edgewater, Md., I ran...

By | February 18, 2006; 6:26 AM ET | Comments (2)

Results: Martin Wins Truck Race; Yeley Grabs Busch Pole; Bump Draft Wrecks IROC

Mark Martin won the Daytona 250 Craftsman Truck series race from the pole position. Ted Musgrave said afterward that he and teammate Todd Bodine had a plan to pick off Martin after a late-race caution that led to a green-white-checker...

By | February 18, 2006; 12:47 AM ET | Comments (2)

Saturday's Trivia Question(s)

It's Hershey's Kissable's 300 day, so I've got a Busch race question for y'all: Which driver holds the records for most career starts, most consecutive starts and most starts before winning? This one's a bit of a toughie, so I'll...

By | February 17, 2006; 11:59 PM ET | Comments (2)

Diggin' In at Daytona

Daytona International Speedway is several miles from the beach -- but when they first started racing stock cars in Daytona, half the course was actually on the beach. That may be why sand sculpture is part of the scene during...

By | February 17, 2006; 4:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Racism at the Races

Last night, as I was leaving Daytona Beach to get back to my motel, there was an incident that really disturbed me. I was driving west on International Speedway Boulevard, right in front of the track. As I pulled up...

By | February 17, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (66)

'Title Pros' Go the Extra Mile for Charity

I stopped at a souvenir vendor under the Nextel Tower grandstand yesterday afternoon. I was "window shopping" more than anything else, but found some stuff I just had to have for my kids. Sisters Niki, left, and Brittany Humphrey volunteer...

By | February 17, 2006; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

The Princesses of NASCAR

Not all that long ago, NASCAR meant stock car racing, and NASCAR marketing was focused on cars, auto parts, tobacco products and soft drinks. But as tracks, sponsorships and Nielson ratings have multiplied, the "brand" has obviously opened up a...

By | February 17, 2006; 8:43 AM ET | Comments (7)

Truckin': Friday's Trivia

Mark Martin's on the pole for tonight's GM Flex Fuel 250. Who won last year's Craftsman Truck series race at Daytona, and what position did he start from?...

By | February 17, 2006; 7:24 AM ET | Comments (11)

Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Is Set

NASCAR's warning about bump drafting was taken to heart by drivers in yesterday's Gatorade Duels. Elliot Sadler took the checkered flag in the first race in the #38 M&M's Ford. Jeff Gordon, already on the outside pole, cruised to what...

By | February 17, 2006; 7:10 AM ET | Comments (3)

Gear, More Gear and Neon

I wound up yesterday at Daytona 2000, a NASCAR collectibles store on South Atlantic Ave. Not just any store, boasts owner Gilbert Myara, THE biggest retail NASCAR merchandise store in the world, as measured by both sales and square footage....

By | February 16, 2006; 1:16 PM ET | Comments (12)

Togetherness, Gibbs Racing Style

I caught Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Greg Zipadelli (#20 Home Depot) in the garage today. Zippy had walked down to the 11 car's garage for a pre-race confab with fellow Gibbs crew chief Mike Ford, and we talked on...

By | February 16, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (4)

Fan Photos

Photographer Jim Ruda, whom I met Saturday in the Fan Zone in the infield, got some great shots of Tony Stewart that he's sent to me to post. Jim's a photographer by trade from Melbourne, Fla. No wonder his pictures...

By | February 16, 2006; 9:12 AM ET | Comments (1)

Duel Lineups; Practice Results

Looks like NASCAR has worked out the lineups for the twin Gatorade 150 Duels: Race One Race Two Here are the results from Wednesday's practice sessions: First session, Cup cars: Top five were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman,...

By | February 16, 2006; 1:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Thursday's Trivia

Dale Earnhardt holds the record for all-time victories at Daytona International Speedway with 34 wins in points races, qualifying races and selected support races. He's followed in all-time wins in stock car racing by Bobby Allison (16), Cale Yarborough (15),...

By | February 16, 2006; 12:29 AM ET | Comments (2)

Eatin' Dirt

By | February 15, 2006; 2:53 PM ET | Comments (17)

Hot Links: Post's Preview; Live Chat

The Washington Post has published its special Daytona 500/2006 preview today. They're leading with a story on Earnhardt and Gordon trying to bounce back after disappointing 2005 seasons. There's also a feature on rookie driver Denny Hamlin, a look at...

By | February 15, 2006; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (9)

Wednesday's Trivia

Today's trivia question is dirt track related. In 2004, Tony Stewart purchased one. Can you name it?...

By | February 15, 2006; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (5)

Horseshoes, Daytona Style

A couple of fans from the Cincinnati area have introduced me to a regional phenomenon where they hail from: A game called corn hole. Steve Broering andTom Rowe stand ready to take all corn hole challengers in the Turn 1...

By | February 14, 2006; 8:15 PM ET | Comments (9)

The Nation's Busiest "Hooters"

How could Daytona Fan Fare be complete without an entry from the busiest Hooters restaurant in the nation? The Daytona Hooters sits directly across from the front of the speedway, right about where the start/finish line would be if it...

By | February 14, 2006; 7:35 PM ET | Comments (2)

Earl's 51 Years at Daytona

Earl Springs has been hawking racing programs in Daytona for 51 years. I reminded him that this will be the 48th running of the Daytona 500. He reminded me that from 1956 to 1958, they were still running races on...

By | February 14, 2006; 12:49 PM ET | Comments (5)

A Lot of Black Ink

Michael Warfel shows off his signature tailgate. (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com) I ran into Michael Warfel at Daytona USA yesterday. He was hard to miss carrying a bright yellow tailgate. It was mostly yellow, I should say, but with...

By | February 14, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (3)

Cheating, or Just Trying Hard?

NASCAR yesterday ejected Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy, for the remainder of Speedweek -- and perhaps for two more Cup races -- for a rules infraction during qualifying on Sunday. Rules infraction being the polite...

By | February 14, 2006; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (9)

Tuesday Trivia

Seven drivers have won the Daytona 500 starting from the pole position. Two of them did it twice: Cale Yarborough in '68 and '84, and Bill Elliot in '85 and '87. Dale Jarrett did it most recently, in 2000. Who...

By | February 14, 2006; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (3)

True Classics

Driving up I-4 to the Speedway for yesterday's races, I passed, or was passed, by a slew of classic cars - not to mention muscle cars and monster trucks. Race fans check out the engine on a '55 Chevy Nomad,...

By | February 13, 2006; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (2)

Monday Trivia

Joe Gibbs Racing has a history of successful beginnings. Yesterday, his rookie Denny Hamlin drove the #11 FedEx Express car to the checkered flag in the Bud Shootout. That was the first Cup win for Hamlin, the first win for...

By | February 13, 2006; 8:15 AM ET | Comments (7)

Look, Don't Touch

Just how much access do infield fans get to drivers? Surpisingly, lots, though it's kind of a tease. The Fan Zone, which opened last year, puts fans right up against the garage area, where driver sightings are plentiful. But, although...

By | February 12, 2006; 9:08 PM ET | Comments (13)

Burton, Gordon Win Bud Poles; Rookie Hamlin Wins Shootout

Unofficial Results From Daytona (Source nascar.com http://www.nascar.com/) Daytona 500 Bud Pole Qualifying Inside Poll: Jeff Burton (#31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet; owner Richard Childress Racing); Outside Poll: Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet; owner Rick Hendrick) Bud Shootout Winner: Denny Hamlin (#11...

By | February 12, 2006; 8:18 PM ET | Email a Comment

Brrr! It's Cold Here in Sunny Florida

The cold front that pushed through Central Florida Saturday - raining out the ARCA race and Bud Shootout - has got us in its grip now. Temperatures are predicted to dip below freezing tonight, with a stiff wind kicking in...

By | February 12, 2006; 2:32 PM ET | Email a Comment

Rain, Rain. Who Cares?

What do Daytona fans do when rain spoils race day? Pretty much the same thing they'd be doing if the race was going on: Partying. As race fan James Ruda Jr. of Melbourne, Fla., told me, "Daytona is a party,...

By | February 12, 2006; 12:37 PM ET | Comments (2)

Locked and Loaded in the Infield

They take their 2nd Amendment rights seriously here, at least according to Orlando's NBC affiliate, WESH Channel 2. The station is reporting that bomb-sniffing dogs are giving RVs and other vehicles a thorough going over before letting them through to...

By | February 11, 2006; 3:38 PM ET | Comments (12)

The Eagle Has Landed

I've arrived. The flight from D.C. was uneventful. The drive from Orlando to Daytona Beach was nightmarishly congested. But all that tension melted away after I picked up my credentials and drove through the tunnel under the speedway and onto...

By | February 11, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Start Your Engines

Welcome to Daytona Fan Fare, a fan-based, fan-driven blog about Speed Week and the people who love it. After you've gotten the latest results and news from official sites and washingtonpost.com, check here from Friday, 2/10 - Monday, 2/20, for...

By | February 7, 2006; 1:10 PM ET | Comments (11)

More About Mike

I've been making the Daytona pilgrimage, off and on, for 10 years now. The first one I watched live had a profound effect on me. It came at a pivotal point in my life and knocked me over like a...

By | February 6, 2006; 4:07 PM ET | Comments (7)

 

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