Matt Kenseth takes 1st in the 2nd of the season
Matt Kenseth takes 1st in the 2nd of the season

He showed us, didn’t he? After a week of “the luck of the rain” and all that, Kenseth drove that Ford Fusion to the stripe in the Auto Club 500 with every single lap counted and accounted for. There can be no argument that the #17 team really did win this one. Yet, the accomplishment of winning the first two races of the season is still put to the back as people still insist on dragging Dale Earnhardt, Jr. through the infield grass. Yes, yes, yes. Let’s give Kenseth the two races. His grill was in front at the end. That said, let’s give Dale Jr. the benefit of our eyes and look at what really happened.

Dale Jr. dove left to go under Vickers. Vickers dove much more sharply to block. Dale went below the line. Vickers maneuver made him go loose which made him slow a bit. Dale turned back to the track and… Oh look! The back of Vickers’ car is right there!

So now, the front of the 88 touches the back of the 83. Not fender to quarter panel, but front to back. A touch. But enough of a touch to send the already loose 83 up the track and into the traffic. So, what have we learned. We’ve learned that any action involving Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a polarizing event on race day. We’ve learned that accidents and crashes happen in NASCAR. We’ve learned it is sometimes very easy to point a finger and ignore the very obvious.

The “obvious”…, at least for this incident and this running of the Daytona 500, is that any two cars could have made that same moves and the results would have been the same. You simply can’t throw cars around at those speeds and not expect they will go loose, slow down, speed up and touch. Who’s fault was it…? Dale Jr….? Vickers…? Both…? Nobody…? All of the above…?


Rain changed the dynamics of two iconic races on the same day on Sunday, February 15th. The Daytona 500 was cut short in Florida while on the other coast, rain dampened the day for the international cyclists riding the Tour of California. Now, fast forward one week to Sunday, February 22nd. These same sports practically come face to face as the drivers and cyclists find themselves within 200 miles of each other.

autoclub500On the surface, 200 miles seems like a fair distance. However, when you consider the attention these two events are getting it is nothing but an inch on a Rand-McNally. The Auto Club 500 may be the largest attention grabber within our own borders of the U.S.A. but the international attention on the Tour is likely much greater. NASCAR is, after all, an American invention. Cycling in some countries is bigger than football. Our football, anyway. Their football is soccer and makes ours look like a little league outing.

However, think of the similarities between professional cycling and NASCAR. Sponsors, speed, drafting, teams, strategy, endurance and luck play heavy in both. Big name stars highlight both sports. Who doesn’t know that Jeff Gordon drives and Lance Armstrong rides? Crashes are common in both. Tempers come into play. At the end of the day there is a finish line and glory. Definatelycommon to both.

tourcabnnrThis Sunday, you can expand your horizons and check out both of these spectacles with TV coverage of both. From 2pm to 5pm, watch the final stage of the Tour of California on the VERSUS network. Look for the similarities. Be carefull, you might get hooked and by the time the Tour de France comes around you may find yourself cheering for two wheels. At 5pm, flip to FOX and see the entire Auto Club 500. Two races from two different disciplines on one day from practically the same place. How can you go wrong?