Sunday morning – Daytona 500 Race Day! Clicking into first thing to check on updates for today and what do we see…? A big sidebar advertisement for Nationwide Insurance with Danica Patrick standing there…  Ironic…? Good timing…? After all, she has gone nose deep into concrete twice in three days and steps back into a new car. That would seem to be a good selling point for auto insurance… Right…?

But this race, this season… It’s not all about Danica Patrick. Every garage, team and driver has a story that brought them here and they all want the same thing. There are also the stories of those who are shut out of the barn for the big dance. Take Michael Waltrip, for example… Re-entering the field during Gatorade Dual Day, he attempted to leave the inner skirt of the track and get on the banking but the sudden angle change was too much at speed and the car jolted up the track and into the wall. That put him at #44 and one spot off the grid after pre-season wrangling to have a ride to qualify with. Yes, MWR still has cars on the track for the 500, but Michael isn’t in any of them. (more…)