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#3 Making Its Comeback Sunday by Leading The Pack at the Daytona 500
Sat Feb 22, 2014 13:50:37PM |
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The Daytona 500, the biggest race of the year for NASCAR, is set to take place this Sunday. The NFL has the Super Bowl. Major League Baseball has the World Series. The National Basketball League has the NBA Finals. And Hockey has the Stanley Cup. The one thing that all of these have in common is that they are at the end of the year. One of the most unique aspects of the Daytona 500 is that racing's biggest day is an event that kicks off the season. That in and of itself makes this one of the most unique sporting events to watch.
One thing I will never forget is the year that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. crashed his car and tragically died. I was only a junior in high school then, but I remember watching the race with my dad and thinking that it didn't look like a bad accident whatsoever. His death resulted in major safety changes for NASCAR that should have been instituted well before his passing, but typically take a tragedy before being instituted. There is no doubt that the safety changes NASCAR instituted after his death have saved an untold number of lives. It's a shame that those weren't in place before Earnhardt's death.
Rookie Austin Dillon won the pole this year, and what better way to pay homage to the late Earnhardt, Sr. than driving his famed number 3 car for the first time since that tragic day. There will be countless people drawing comparisons and debating if this is the right thing to do, but I think there is no better way to honor someone than carrying them on in spirit.
Dillon will have many great names right behind him that would love nothing more than cross that finish line first. History has not bode well for pole winner's lately, but maybe Dillon will have a little extra help from the old number three guiding him along the way.
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