|The ominous clouds that would postpone the race|
This year marked the 54th year of the event, and wouldn't you know it, it also marked the first time EVER of being postponed! The rain just wouldn't let up. It worked out ok for guys that were in awe and wonderment of finally being at THE RACE. They decided to stay in Daytona overnight and crash in the truck rather than spend the money on fuel and waste the time driving back and forth from Lakeland.
They weren't permitted to stay in the parking lot at the Speedway, but thank goodness they weren't too far from a Walmart parking lot. Other race-goers had the same idea. The party continued.
|The Daytona 500 hotel|
The next day they were plagued with rain again, postponing the race until 7 pm. The delay allowed the chance them to look around.
Here is a bronze of Dale Earnhardt's gloves and "lucky" penny. Hubby told me to look up the story of the penny. I'm glad I did.
It was 1998, and Dale's 20th attempt to win at Daytona when Wessa Miller, a six-year old girl with spina bifida, gave a penny to Earnhardt before the race. He won the race that day and he secretly glued the penny to his dashboard. And little Wessa Miller became known as the "Lucky Penny Girl."
Events of the 2001 Daytona 500 would forever change the history of NASCAR. And has been appropriately been named Black Sunday. On the final lap of the race, Earnhardt was in third place, effectively blocking for his drivers ahead. Going into turn 4, he lost control of his car and collected Ken Schrader in a head-on collision with the wall. He was killed instantly from a basilar skull fracture. It is known as the darkest day in NASCAR history. His untimely death ushered in a new era of safety precautions. Hubby says that Earnhardt's spirit is still palpable at the track.
Another first for the Daytona race in that it marked the first televised prime-time running of the race.
Their seats were in the Turn 2 section. The second picture shows the Thunderbirds lining up as seen from their bird's-eye view.
There were a lot of "exciting" crashes. Exciting only because nobody was injured. And definitely a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that he will not soon (if ever) forget.
The race won by Matt Kenseth (his second Daytona win). Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd, and Greg Biffle finished 3rd.
Thank you for letting me share this with you.
Talk to you soon,