Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dateline: Daytona Beach (And so it begins)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If I hadn’t let it get dark before I sat down to write this blog Tuesday night, I could have honestly told you I was looking at the ocean beyond the sands of Daytona Beach out the window of where I’ll be staying the next two weeks.
Even though it’s way too chilly to frolic – even if I were one predisposed to frolic – it was nice to be able to see the water when I got here today. A lot of the days during Speedweeks begin before the sun is up and end well after it’s down, so I won’t be spending much time gazing out that window at the ocean.
But at least I know it’s there.
* * *
Jeremy Mayfield has announced plans to run a full Sprint Cup season as the driver and co-owner of Mayfield Motorsports.
His Toyotas will carry the No. 41, but the car will not have the owner points amassed by Reed Sorenson with that number at Chip Ganassi Racing last year.
Mayfield said the suspension of testing and the car of tomorrow helped him get into position to field a team along with co-owner Gary Smith. Smith is chairman and chief executive officer of Big Red Inc., and that company’s All Sport brand of energy drink will serve as the team’s sponsor.
“Team ownership is something I’ve always wanted to pursue,” said Mayfield, who has five career Cup Series victories. “Things have really fallen into place this year with the NASCAR rule changes and with All Sport coming on board as a partner.”
Tony Furr is the crew chief and Triad Racing Technologies will supply the engines and chassis to support his racing efforts.
“We’re here for the long haul,” said Mayfield. “This isn’t something I’m going into with short term aspirations. Together with All Sport, we’re going to compete this year with the goal to build a solid team for many years to come.”
* * *
Darlington Raceway wants fans to choose the most memorable moment in the track’s 60-year history. Voting has begun at darlingtonraceway.com.
The nominated moments are the inaugural Southern 500 in 1950, Ned Jarrett’s record 14-lap victory margin in the 1965 Southern 500, Richard Petty moving past his father, Lee, to first on the sport’s all-time victory list with Richard’s 55th career win in 1967, first Darlington wins in 1968 for South Carolina natives David Pearson and Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip’s dramatic win over Petty, Pearson and Bobby Allison for Waltrip’s first superspeedway win in 1977, Pearson’s 105th and final career win in 1980, Dale Earnhardt’s first Darlington win in 1982, Bill Elliott’s 1985 Southern 500 victory that earned Elliott the Winston Million bonus, Jeff Gordon’s first Darlington win in 1995, Jeff Burton’s win in the 50th Southern 500 in 1999, the dramatic fender-banging finish to Ricky Craven’s 2003 win over Kurt Busch and back-to-back wins in 2005 and 2006 by Greg Biffle.
Frankly, I am not sure about some of those nominees. Darlington has a lot of great history. But the choice for me comes down to Elliott’s 1985 win and the Craven-Kurt Busch battle in 2003. The 2003 race was epic, no doubt, but Elliott’s win in 1985 to earn $1 million from R.J. Reynolds was a big, big moment for the sport.
* * *
Briefly: Sherry Clifton, who was the race promoter of Hickory Motor Speedway for more than a decade, is the new director for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Director. Clifton has racing in her blood. Her father, Hal, is the brother of short-track legend Tommy Houston. …Golden Corral restaurants will sponsor Travis Kvapil’s car in the Daytona 500. …The third annual Speed Performance Awards show will air for the first time Thursday at 10:30 p.m. The show will also repeat several times after that – 7 p.m. on Feb. 11; 2 a.m. on Feb. 12; 3 p.m. on Feb. 13 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 17.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only way Mayfield can race is to own the car! I'm still down on him for bumping Big E out at Pocono.

Blyndog said...

I'm with you DP. If every race could finish like the Craven/Busch finish, can you imagine how great this sport would be. Alas, NASCAR doesn't see fit to race on tracks like Darlington very often and never at the The Rock, that produce those types of finishes. Seems to me that would be "better TV" even if it doesn't come from California, Chicago, Kansas, etc.

Anonymous said...

dieting is not a bad word Poole.

Anonymous said...

I've seen obese sports writers before but Mr. Poole you need to learn how to push yourself away from the VIP/Pressroom hospitality table at NASCAR events.

Karen M. said...

Do you guys have anything to say about his writing? Or do you do nothing but get your kicks from insulting people that have nothing to do with YOU! Love you Poole! Keep doing a great job writing and letting us know what's real in the Nascar world. I would pay money to see you "frolic"!

Anonymous said...

DP - kick some butt in Daytona and hold NASCAR accountable.
Don't let them put you on their payroll.

Anonymous said...

Shut up Karen M. You probably need to go on a diet too

Anonymous said...

Even though it’s way to chilly to frolic

Too chilly David. To, to, two. C'mon; you're a much better scribbler than that.

Anonymous said...

Karen, enjoy Davids writing while you can because by the looks of things he will not be around much longer. Also, david is it a must that you have to write like you talk in all your columns?

Anonymous said...

Greenpeace arrived today in Daytona Beach responding to a report of people splashing water on a beached whale frolicking near the shore. The whale identified by the name “David” was revived after feedings by the group consisting of brownies, hotdogs and Pepsi Cola. The huge mammal swam away into the Sunset seeming happy and content after waving a warm goodbye to the crowd with his enormous tail. Go David Go, you are the best fish in the giant seas of racing!

dwg1211 said...

whales aren't fish, moron.

Anonymous said...

Intersting how many pathetically unloved people there are in cyberspace. It seems like most of them are also stupid.

I saw Mayfield interview in Nascar Now. He did not perform very well. He did not use the opportunity to serve his team. The host, Mike Massaro (sp?), asked rather dumb questions and Mayfield mearly answered them.

There is no way if it had been Tony Stwart, Tommy Baldwin, they would have wasted the moment so pasively. He never mentioned his co-owner, as a matter of fact, he acted as though he was the sole owner. He never mentioned his sponsor, his crew chief, where he was getting his engines and chassis,etc. Doesn't he know that as an owner he also needs to be a promoter?

I'm still down on him for Pocono to, as well at throwing Ray under the bus.

I don't think Mayfield will make it.

Anonymous said...

David, Thank you- have you seen the weather here in CHarlotte? Enjoy Daytona!

Holleracha said...

The picture in my mind of Ol' DP frolicin' in the surf is only riveled by me doing the same at my age... I'm glad I moved from Daytona.
I'm glad to see Mayfield back in the saddle. He is in good company as a graduate of Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway. Mayfield was proven right about Evernham by recent developments, & his "Earnhardtin'" of Earnhardt is one of NASCARs highlights!!!

Anonymous said...

I salute Mayfield for what he did to Earnhardt at Pocono.
If more guys had done the same thing ol'King Of White Trash would'nt have got so much handed to him through the years.


9:54 Poole is on the payroll.

Holleracha said...

P.S. Went to take a dump. Pipes are frozen. DP frolicing in the surf vs the smell in my house...ummm??

Doug in CA said...

These contests irritate me. They want the "most memorable monent?" what is a "moment?" Is a 500 mile race a "moment?" Was Waltrip's first speedway win a "moment" then? Now?

I didn't see most of these, but I did see the 2003 race, and that had about 90 seconds of the best on-track action I've ever seen, so it gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to Florida, David. I'm looking forward to reading your blogs/articles and listening to you and Bagley on TMD.

Stay warm, and I hope you have a chance to enjoy the view at least one day. sjb

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #1 - what, Thug Earnhardt didn't deserve it?

Blyndog - here's why NASCAR doesn't see fit to race on tracks like Darlington - the surface is garbage, the groove is absurdly narrow, and that kind of track is not prone to the kind of finish we saw in 2003. And for all the hype about that finish, it was three laps of insanity after 397 miles of tedium worse than anything we see at Fontana or Chicago or Kansas, tracks that have room to race.

If people want to change racetracks, then rebuild Darlington into a modern 1.5-mile true oval with a surface they can race on and not have to change tires so often.

The 1979 Rebel 500 - how this got left off the list defies belief. The lead changed eight times in the final five laps between Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty; Waltrip won it on the final lap.

Monkeesfan said...

Mayfield Motorsports won't last the season.

Anonymous said...

How did the 79 Rebel 500 get left off?
You gotta remember.David Poole has only been keeping up with racing for a couple of years.Just because you think you know everything doesnt mean you actually do.

Anonymous said...

Hey David, based on your rant from this morning, I have 2 words for you?

.!. FUCK YOU

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #21 and #22 - first of all, that Poole reached back to more obscure moments such as the 1977 Rebel 500 - for the record Waltrip won it in a three-wide photo finish to the race-ending yellow when Dick Brooks and J.D. McDuffie wrecked in Four with about four to go; Bobby Allison in Hoss Ellington's Chevy in relief of Donnie blew two tires, David Pearson backed off, Waltrip charged through and Petty went after both of them and they hit the stripe three-wide; it caused some controversy at the time because some thought NASCAR consulted the ABC broadcast replays instead of what the officials saw - shows he has some pretty solid grasp of the sport's history.

Second, "**** YOU!" doesn't qualify as a credible posting.

Holleracha said...

AA Hit another meetin' I fowarded this blog to friends!! No @#&%^ please!

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