That's Right, as today the country celebrates Lincoln's & Washington's birthdays on this Presidents Day weekend, the Daytona 500 will celebrate its very own birthday, turning 50. All throughout the month of February, there have been many stories leading up to the golden anniversary of the great american race. The biggest one is of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who is with a new team - Hendricks Motorsports, and is winner of the Budwiser Shootout, and the first race of the Gatorade Duels at Daytona. he has been right near the front of the pack, but Toyota is not too far behind him. Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin, drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing, powered by Toyota, have also been towards the front. Tony has won Saturday's NASCAR's Nationwide Series (formerly the NASCAR Busch Series) Camping World 300 at Daytona. His teammate, Hamlin, has won the second race of Thursday's Gatorade Duels at Daytona, along with finishing a close second behind Stewart, at the 300.
Toyota, being their second year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Formerly Nextel Cup) is doing much better than I even expected. Finishing higher up in the field, and actually even winning. I believe, to the hatred of many Fans that hate imports runnint in what's called "An American Sport" (ironically, a driver once used a jaguar to race in NASCAR, in the early beginnings) will have a very good chance of winning the 500. If they can accomplish this, they will be the first ever foreign born manufacturer to ever win the Daytona 500, and possibly even a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Dale Jarrett, Multiple winner of the 500, and driver of the #44 UPS Toyota, by Miachel Waltrip Racing, will be retiring this year and fans, including this one, will be sad to see him go. David Reutimann will take over for him, at this year's Food City 500 at Bristol, Tennessee
The other big issue...The Car of Tomorrow. will it be safe for Daytona - a track, and a race, notorious for "the big one", and close, tight 3 and 4 wide restrictor plate racing. we'll find out later today. Stay tuned for more info from The Hot Lap.