2010 Budweiser Shootout Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com
If the Shootout is any preview, which it should darn well be a good one, to the Daytona 500, then we are in for one heck of a race this coming Sunday! The Shootout left last year’s winner, Kevin Harvick, in victory lane for a second consecutive year. Now, if history repeats itself, this could very well be the only thing that Harvick wins for the year. But with the look of the teams, Harvick and the other Childress drivers could have definitely learned something in the off-season.
With the leniency of NASCAR regarding bump-drafting, the race was certainly much more exciting than in races past. The larger restrictor plate created more horsepower and definitely more speed as the guys barreled through the bumps of Daytona International. It was a very fun race to watch.
Harvick may have come away with the victory, but that’s certainly no before a hard-fought battle between some of the biggest names out there. Jeff Gordon was mired back in the pack for the majority of the race and was lucky to stay out of trouble after Greg Biffle got loose and took out Carl Edwards. Tony Stewart, my pick, made a notable charge, almost coming away with first-place, but in the world of superspeedways, positions change within seconds.
Michael Waltrip, no surprise here, caused was the first spin-out after spinning his car on lap 25, the last lap of the first segment. Waltrip was also involved in a late race caution as he and Ryan Newman made contact on lap 70. One other caution included Mark Martin taking out Kurt Busch on lap 32. Busch, though slightly aggravated, managed to joke about taking more laps in the ambulance than in the racecar.
Harvick needed this victory. After a disappointing 2009 season, Harvick and his team need to start off on the right foot. Although this is how they started the ’09 season, Harvick believes that they can maintain the momentum this time. He got into this race in a backup car after battling the flu and not having taken a single practice lap with it. For Harvick, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
The thing about the Shootout and even Daytona in general is that it is extremely unpredictable. One minute, Carl Edwards is leading every lap from the point and the next, Greg Biffle has managed to take over the lead. It’s all about your friends and enemies. It’s also about the caliber and handling of your car. The 500 is going to be a heck of a race this weekend. Here’s a look at your top 10 finishers from the Shootout:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Jamie McMurray
4. Kyle Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Joey Logano
8. Brian Vickers
9. Tony Stewart
10. Juan Montoya
If you look closely, you will notice that this top 10 is eerily similar to the Chase contenders last year and the drivers on the bubble as well. Is this going to be a preview of what’s to come? There’s only one way to find out! Stick around for my preview of the 500 and watch the race Sunday for another great superspeedway battle.