Opinion – Daytona 500 is nostalgia personified

Written By Steph Weiland, Staff Writer

While watching the 75th annual Daytona 500 and hearing the engines roar, nostalgia struck me. It felt like the good old days when my pap came over and both pap and dad would watch NASCAR races together. I remembered those Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR while I played with my legos. As a kid my favourite Disney movie was Cars and I absolutely adored listening to Life is A Highway by the Rascal Flatts. I guess some may say it made sense then why I liked playing with matchbox cars and listening to NASCAR on the radio. 


After a long decade or so of not watching the races, I have recently started to love the exhilarating races again. My weekend consists of Supercross on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays. I find it sad that NASCAR is not as popular as it once had been — the stands had been filled up for the Daytona 500, but not for the Wise Popular 400 last weekend in Fontana, California. It’s possible that since the Daytona 500 is the first race of the season more people may be interested in watching it than other races. 


But still, low turnouts tend to depress me. NASCAR is a family sport, and we need more families watching on Sundays. Take the time around 3 p.m. on  Sunday afternoons, change the channel FOX Sports and enjoy some NASCAR with the people you love. In my opinion, it is undoubtedly better than watching football.


The Daytona 500 was looking like an easy winner towards the last couple of laps for Kyle Busch, who won the Wise Popular 400 in Fontana last weekend. But, there was a major collision in the last lap and the caution flag had gone up, though Joey Logano had been leading before the collision. The collision happened after Aric Almirola  crashed into the right rear side of Travis Pastrana, which caused a domino effect. Unfortunately, cars started wrecking into one another and  a major pileup flooded the course. Everyone had to go back and do it again, but this time someone else took the lead. 


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crossed the finish line a mere second or two before Logano. Logano was not very satisfied with placing second, as he was quoted at the finish line saying, “Second is the worst, man.”


Stenhouse’s win was his first victory in six years and his third overall in the NASCAR Cup Series. When Stenhouse won it sort of reminded me of last year’s Kentucky Derby which saw Rich Strike win— and it was a long shot. Stenhouse wasn’t in favor of winning the Daytona 500, but he pulled it off and still won. Almost everyone loves when the underdogs steal it from behind. 


I look forward to watching NASCAR this season and I hope you will take the time to check it out, too. You won’t regret it. There are a lot of races and I plan to watch as many as I can.