The 2012 Daytona 500 was won by Matt Kenseth but the Earnhardt Nation has plenty to be happy about. With a second place finish by Dale Jr the season holds promise.
I was wrong, obviously, when I predicted a Nationwide and Sprint Cup race sweep by Junior. That’s okay I will be wrong again this season. Probably every time Dale doesn’t win a race but I am still pretty excited about the momentum the 88 team takes in Phoenix next week.
At the end of a 500 marred by rain and fire it looked like Dale Jr had set up his victory. He pushed Greg Biffle the last two laps and that should been enough to pass Kenseth and set up a sling shot move on Biffle, in the last stretch, to win. Why it didn’t work I am still confused. Did Biffle not make the move on Kenseth because they are team mates or because Matt’s car was just that strong? We will never know but my guess is the latter. However, I would of been real interested in seeing Biffle pull wide, to the outside of Kenseth, on the last lap backstretch and finding out if the best pusher in the business could of gotten them around Kenseth’s 17.
Maybe Biffle thought the gamble wasn’t worth it because he knew it could cost both him and his team mate the victory. That is a noble thought but this was The Great American Race and in my mind any gamble is worth it especially if could of helped Junior.
Either way, whatever happened, Dale Jr is second in points (tied with Biffle and Hamlin) and headed to Phoenix – a track he has won on twice.
This is looking like the start to a beautiful relationship between Dale Jr and the 2012 Sprint cup trophy.
Hail to the Earnhardt Nation!