Daytona 500 2022


via wikimedia commons

The racetrack for a Daytona 500 race.

  With the 64th Daytona 500 race just in the rearview mirror, let’s look back at the biggest Nascar race of the year so far. For those who are unfamiliar with what the infamous Daytona 500 is, it’s one of the largest stock car races in the world that is hosted by North America’s biggest stock car operation, Nascar. Daytona International Speedway is one out of three other superspeedways to host Nascar races. The two others mentioned are Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Talladega Speedway. The Daytona 500 runs Daytona International Speedway’s standard track set-up, which is composed of a 2.5-mile track with four turns, each being banked at 31 degrees. The track’s front stretch, where the finish line is also located, is banked at 18 degrees.

     At around 6:00 pm EST, after completing two laps in overtime, Austin Cindric drove the #2 Ford around the 2.5-mile track defending an overtake pass from Ryan Blaney in the #12 Ford. Directly behind the ecstatic winner was Bubba Wallace in P2, and Chase Briscoe followed to round out the podium, with Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola to complete the top five. 

     As the drivers came across the line, a spectacle to the audience and a cringe moment for the crews unfolded. First, Blaney lost control of his car and slammed the front right end into the wall of the World Center of Racing. Then, #6 Ford Brad Keselowski gives a little love tap to fellow Ford driver David Ragan which, as a result, causes him to lose control, similar to Blaney. Keselowski’s accident caused a chain of events starting with pit maneuvers #34 Ford driver Michael McDowell. Because McDowell was still on the throttle as he was pit maneuvered, he sniped Ragan’s front end, guiding both their Ford cars into the wall. Ragan manages to pull a 360 maneuver, sliding across Daytona past the finish line, which is one heck of a way to end a race. 

     Before winning the biggest race of his career, Austin Cindric’s first series championship came in 2020 in Nascar’s Xfinity series. Shortly after, during the 2021 season, Cindric grabbed himself five race wins, bringing his total win count to 13. 

     Overall, this year’s Daytona 500 was one heck of a race full of many ups and downs that managed to keep fans at home and on the track on their feet.