Extra! Extra! Persistent pothole wins the Daytona 500!

I’m not a big fan of pranks. (I’m basically a humorless old coot.) But I laughed out loud about 6:15 Sunday night. While waiting through the second televised pavement malfunction, I clicked on the Wikipedia entry for the Daytona 500. As the 2010 winner, some devious gearhead had already entered “Pothole.”

Under “make of car,” the listing was “Hole.” Under “car number,” the listing was “2.”

I’m sorry. For reasons unclear, I found that hilarious. Maybe because I use Marietta Street to get downtown and nearly lose a hubcap on a weekly basis. Maybe because it seemed rather incongruous that the self-appointed Great American Race could be halted — for 2 1/2 mind-numbing hours! — by the not-so-great American pothole. But it was most amusing watching Fox fill (and fill, and fill) to the point that a third delay would surely have prompted Chris Myers to tell the story of how Jim Mora screamed at him at halftime of a Falcons-Panthers game in 2004. (Haven’t heard that one, have you?)

I’m not really a NASCAR guy, but I do like the Daytona 500. (I’ve covered four.) And I will tell you that nothing in sports matches the final lap of the Great American Race for drama tinged with zaniness. In 2007 we had Kevin Harvick nosing out Mark Martin — maybe nosing out Mark Martin — while Clint Bowyer’s car went upside-down and caught fire to boot. This edition featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. trying to run down a car co-owned by the evil stepmother whose shop Junior famously left.

But Dale Jr. didn’t quite make it. (Made a great run, though. And I’m not a Junior fan.) But Jamie McMurray won the race and cried on camera, which in itself made up for 2 1/2 hours of televised pothole repair. And then, just to be sure the real champ had gotten his due, I rechecked Wikipedia. Sure enough, “Pothole” had been taken down.

62 comments Add your comment

Asheville Dawg

February 14th, 2010
10:45 pm

Mark Bradley

February 14th, 2010
10:45 pm

Yes, sir. Asheville Dawg takes the checkered flag, as it were. Kudos.

Asheville Dawg

February 14th, 2010
10:45 pm

wow I’m surprised and impressed

Benjamin

February 14th, 2010
10:50 pm

Dangit. I thought I had my fourth in three weeks.

Good race today. I didn’t watch it, of course, but there were a lot of dustups.

Mark Bradley

February 14th, 2010
10:51 pm

As I said, Benjamin, I’m not a fan of car racing per se, but I do like Daytona.

Asheville Dawg

February 14th, 2010
10:52 pm

When I heard the race was delayed to the track coming apart, i promptly lost interest. Just wonder if the city of Atlanta and Daytona Race Track use the same people. Like I say inquiring minds might like to know?

Mark Bradley

February 14th, 2010
10:55 pm

Wasn’t Al D’Amato known as “Senator Pothole”? NASCAR could use some government oversight.

Sonny Clusters

February 14th, 2010
10:56 pm

We was never that interested in racing but we always loved baseball and here Chipper is at 230 pounds with pitchers and catchers ready to report. Chipper must have been working out with cheeseburgers again and we heard he’d hurt his thumb again playing golf. We was in Daytona Beach once and ate some really good seafood at a place down by the lighthouse. When we was playing ball we’d sometimes put some hushpuppies in a bag and take ‘em to practice and then toss ‘em up in the air and hit ‘em with a bat. Know what that’s called?

Benjamin

February 14th, 2010
10:59 pm

I was just being goofy, MB.

I grew up watching NASCAR (father is a huge fan of the sport), but I’ve tapered off from watching it after leaving home for Atlanta several years ago. Will still watch a race every now and then, and I follow the sport enough to know what’s going on.

I think the Danica Patrick thing is way overblown. Like everyone else — but for different reasons than most, obviously — that’s my current NASCAR hot-topic. The rules changes to allow for more bumping and green flag finishes should make things more exciting this year, too, though it kind of undermines all the safety stuff they did after Dale’s passing a few years ago…

Benjamin

February 14th, 2010
11:01 pm

And Sonny, whenver I hear things like “Chipper is bulking up,” I think of cheeseburgers and the inevitable hamstring pull that’ll sit him for a month.

Other than Barry Bonds/Sammy Sosa and the other scandal-minded ballplayers of the past, has there ever been a ball player that successfully “bulked up” for a season? Especially at 37, or whatever age Chipper carries these days? I’m worred about my Braves.

Bill

February 14th, 2010
11:02 pm

Thanks Mark, Kurt Busch (your pick) put up a good race but just couldn’t over come the potholes effect. My pick Joe Gibbs crew just didn’t have any luck either. Jr made a great run in last 2 laps..about time!

Sonny Clusters

February 14th, 2010
11:03 pm

Chipper’s not perfect – he’s sort of like your HMO. When you need him to come up big – it’s not covered.

Ross

February 14th, 2010
11:03 pm

Thank GOD I found somewhere to vent about this! NASCAR is finished – does anyone remember Petty and Pearson, rather than Pussy vs. Willow? How is it possible that something once so great has been so reduced to corporate mind-numbing stupidity? How is that possible?? I have thought often enough – Clemens, Vick, now Woods, Jeff George, these simple mistakes of upbringing and stray cosmic rays could be comprehended – but the stupendous destruction of an entire sport – this is to me, utterly inconceivable. I have not watched more than 10 minutes of this ridiculous garbage in 10 years. Here is an entire sport destroyed by television and nannies and just the pure stupid Bubba-idiocy of its so-called fans. Rest is hell, NASCAR.

-drl

Mark Bradley

February 14th, 2010
11:04 pm

I’ll bite. (So to speak.) What’s hitting hush puppies with a bat called, Sonny?

Benjamin

February 14th, 2010
11:07 pm

We’ll see how it goes, man.

If you see him in Dairy Queen, tell him to go for a (light) jog. We need him healthy and flexible this year, with Troy Glaus on the other end.

Dawghater

February 14th, 2010
11:15 pm

NASCAR should really be ashamed at their premiere event being held for a “time out” for a racetrack that was not ready for prime time!

Reid Adair

February 14th, 2010
11:19 pm

That was a disaster for perhaps the biggest race of the NASCAR season. Then, afterward, the guy in charge of the track said the don’t need to re-pave it. Imagine that.

I was happy for Jamie McMurray.

Cousin Vicker

February 14th, 2010
11:28 pm

I want the Jim Mora story.

Bob Kieswetter

February 14th, 2010
11:30 pm

The track officials should go modern with up-to date repair procedures using infrared heaters. A truck could have done a good structural repair… once…. in about 20 minutes.

Joey

February 14th, 2010
11:41 pm

Between the ‘500′ and those cheesy Geico commercials, potholes are having a heckuva winter.

Mony

February 14th, 2010
11:41 pm

little older than you, Mr. Bradley, as I remember watching them run on the sand (beach) at Daytona. Fireball Roberts was my favorite then.

sb

February 15th, 2010
2:55 am

1st lets address Ross If you have not watched 10 mins of Nascar in the last 10 years how do you even have a opinion of what it is like today?
2nd to all the people complaining about the track and having to “put them in timeout” Is it not sorda like baseball during a rain delay and after they just sit there sometimes for hours while the field is made playable. I understand it did not rain during the race but it did rain there alot last week. There is no way they could have forseen the damage done underneath the pavement. I am not a die hard Nascar fan but I do watch it when I have the chance, and I thought the race was fantastic compared to some of the last few races there. The last 2 laps were incredible. Like my father used to say if you don’t like whats on you don’t have to watch it, but if you don’t watch it do not B*&^H about it.

JDM

February 15th, 2010
3:41 am

Sure would be nice if AJC hired someone who knew sports

JEN

February 15th, 2010
4:44 am

sb, great post.

Congrats to Jamie Mac.

Rance

February 15th, 2010
5:08 am

Crap happens. The race was delayed, big deal. As long as Jeff Gordon didn’t win all is well.

Goer

February 15th, 2010
5:10 am

Wished I could have lasted that long with my Valentine……this thing kept going and going and going…

Made my wife envious.

lanier

February 15th, 2010
6:26 am

Amazing that Daytona’s track management didn’t anticapate the pavement problem. I mean they were there all week while the weather worked on the old surface. Do they not have a qualified road materials guy?
This mob ruined an event I had been locking toward to for a month. There needs to be some personnel
changes imediately before a similar situation occurs during the July race.

russdawg

February 15th, 2010
7:15 am

Real nice way to start the season NASCAR ! Fix your * tracks
Thought Little E was gonna pull a Tebow during the post race interview
He toughed it out
Change you nickname to ALMOST Jr !

Grumpy

February 15th, 2010
7:35 am

Letting the guys bump around more is a good step. Standardizing the starting times of the races is a GREAT step. I think NASCAR is slowly starting to figure out why so many have started to tune out. Now if they can shorten a few 500 mile races to 400 miles (Pocono, I’m looking at YOU) and get rid of the stupid “top 35 in points automatically qualify” rule, I will know they are listening.

collegeballfan

February 15th, 2010
7:35 am

Looks like Jackson Lake Road in Jasper County.

Racer

February 15th, 2010
7:37 am

Is shirley franklin now in charge down in daytona?

Big time?? Not

February 15th, 2010
7:37 am

Bumblers must not be race fans…….four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

messin with sasquatch

February 15th, 2010
7:44 am

shoulda sent shirley’s pothole posse down there before the race started.

PMW

February 15th, 2010
7:44 am

Can you send that repair crew on up here and have them fix I-285? Well, never mind…..it would take too long!!

gabeaux

February 15th, 2010
7:47 am

Maybe we can have green/white/checkered laps until they all crash and we have only one car left. In fact, why don’t they start it that way? Then we won’t have to listen to all the remedial drivel and gee whiz all shucks boogity boogity digger tight loose suspension lug nuts pit road lucky dog yellow flag that’s racin’ old school restrictor plate crap.

Ramguy68

February 15th, 2010
7:58 am

“I’m not really a NASCAR guy, but I do like the Daytona 500″. What’s the need for the disclaimer? I don’t understand why people often say things like that and act as though they had passed gas in church if they talk about it. I would probably say the same thing if the NBA were the subject. Then again I don’t get on NBA blogs.

Ramguy68

February 15th, 2010
8:03 am

I also thought it was a disgrace for DW to actively pull for Jr at the end. Sometimes it’s obvious who these announcers pull for no matter what the sport but he went over the line screaming “come on Jr”. I can’t wait until Fox ends it’s race season so I don’t have to listen to that bunch they have hired to call their races..

jerry

February 15th, 2010
8:41 am

I find myself trapped into being exposed to Nascar due to the fact that my wife, being the redneck that she is, is a Nascar/Jr.fan. Daytona, Talladega, and Bristol are the only ones worth watching. The rest are so boring, especially since there are no Georgia boys who are worth a damn since Awesome Bill went over the hill.

Herschel Walker could whip your ass right now at 47

February 15th, 2010
8:41 am

I believe that the hole was created by Digger- so it’s Fox’s fault.

Regarding the racing- it was better than previous, so the new package worked.

I agree with Ramguy68- announcers are supposed to be unbiased. DW was clearly pro- Junior…
I was glad to see Jamie win- he is a class dude and deserved it.

Larry

February 15th, 2010
8:41 am

I am certainly not the NASCAR fan like I was before outcomes were more manipulated and races more boring with the carburetor restrictor plate racing rules, but I find it simply amazing if you click on the lead story from “Jenna” of the associated press in the AJC (and even in Mark’s opening comments above) that there is no mention of what car manufacturer that McMurray drove to victory yesterday. When I most enjoyed NASCAR, second only to perhaps the driver (and for many even more important) was whether the driver was in a Ford, Chevy, Dodge or Plymouth? In fact, as I think is still the case today, there are ticket sections at most/many tracks devoted to the fans of certain car manufacturers. I know this is/was the case at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte.

Can anyone tell me what type of car McMurray was driving? Can’t find this in the AJC!

Incredibly inadequate sports reporting! Could you imagine an Olympic winner’s name without mentioning the country he represents?

Mark Bradley

February 15th, 2010
8:46 am

McMurray drives a Chevy.

Larry

February 15th, 2010
8:53 am

Thanks Mark! Didn’t mean to pound on you as I was most disappointed in “Jenna’s” very lengthy lead story.

Just remember a golden rule of reporting–always assume the person reading did not see or hear the event. This is when reporting is at its very best and is most valuable to those like me who gladly traded yesterday’s ability to watch the race for a “father/daughter” day with my two daughters. I travel for a living and not being able to watch the race and reading about it afterward necessitates getting the essential facts–like whether a Ford or Chevy won for me, a Ford man, as influenced by my father–like everyone else!

Thanks,

Larry

Chef Mentuer

February 15th, 2010
9:08 am

Chef Mentuer

February 15th, 2010
9:10 am

When does Football season start?

PMC

February 15th, 2010
9:11 am

The problem with the Daytona 500 is that the Twin 125’s are more exciting because they almost always waste half the day cleaning up garbage at the big tracks. No one is going to invest what amounts to what 9 hours of coverage. The whole race part of the race could be seen by watching 39 laps.

They should go with 200 mile races and disallow all these wrecked cars to come back out and turn laps. Where you crash is what you get.

Limit the cubic inches get rid of the stupid restrictor plates. Find a way to keep the speeds in a relatively safe level and let these guys actually race.

WonderDawg

February 15th, 2010
9:26 am

Dear Ross,

Pure, stupid Bubba here. “Clemons, Vick, now Woods, Jeff George…” They drive for Gibbs?

Jackets2010

February 15th, 2010
9:29 am

I am also glad Jamie “won” but the mindbending things is without the wrecks in the rear like Over the hill Bill’s caused by maybe a flat time, there would have been a totally different result.
There were too many in front of Dale Jr in the first two 2 laps races for him to finish second.
If you like how it finally wound up, you don’t mind this but if you were pulling for the two in front of the first two two lap races, not so much.
So the final standings seem flukey.
I guess that is how Daytona is anyway because u have to be lucky to avoid the big wrecks.

Jackets2010

February 15th, 2010
9:31 am

PMC, you’ve got some good ideas.
Shame no one who needs to hear them will.

WonderDawg

February 15th, 2010
9:34 am

I still like NASCAR, but I hate restrictor-plates. I miss the days when Elliot was running 209 mph laps with no draft help…

Jackets2010

February 15th, 2010
9:39 am

I agree WonderDawg.
Like many Georgians, I have always been suspicious they changed the rules to prevent Awesome Bill from dominating the sport.
And it would have been better than Darrell’s run and Gordon’s too because most fans liked him enough not to hate them like those two and others.