First, Second, Third Time is surely the charm! Skirt on the Scene- Daytona 500

The 2010 Daytona 500 gave us all our first taste of the brand new “We’re gonna give it three times” Green White Checker rule. But it was more than that! This year’s Daytona 500 had some exciting racing, two red flags and an unexpected winner. Of course, an unexpected winner is usually to be expected at the Daytona 500, isn’t it?

Daytona International Speedway is whole lot of race track!

It is extraordinarily difficult to express how extreme the 31 degree banking of Daytona actually is. Even though I have in previous years been to the Daytona Experience, which offers visitors a chance to stand on a small slope mimicking the extreme angle of the banking and even though I have been on the track itself before, I have never had the chance to walk into the turns of the track.

Daytona’s front stretch and tri-oval is banked at 18 degrees. This is tricky to walk up and is sort of a lark.

Looking towards the Start Finish line from Turn Four:

Holy cow, friends and readers. This year, we joined in on the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk and were able to visit turns Three and Four. I was totally in awe of the banking. The track reaches up at an impossible angle.

Logically, you know it isn’t straight up and down but when you are standing there looking upwards towards the painted “Daytona”, well it leaves you breathless. The banked track meets the apron at a ridiculous angle. It makes no sense at all that cars can drive around this.

I do not think that the pictures do the track justice. Watching it for the last ten years didn’t! But staring up… up… up that banking somehow made the Daytona 500 something more than it already was. I came home with a piece of rubber from the track and a piece of the paint from the double yellow line from Turn Four.

Little souvenirs that can’t be reproduced or imported, pieces of “I was there."

Other race fans walking along Turn Four.

31 degrees... but it looks like straight up 90. :)

This was my first year sitting on the front stretch instead of along the Superstretch. Our seats were in Keech Tower and we could see almost the entire track. Just out of Turn Four and that bit of the Frontstretch were obscured, but we could see everything else. The crowd was amazing, as it always is. The race had some of the best racing I have ever seen. It wasn’t the crash fest that everyone predicted; the drivers were allowed to do what they do best and it worked.

I have two quick video clips. The first is the green flag lap, and the second is their second time by. Its too hard for me to video or take pictures during the actual race. As I'm sure you can understand. :)

Green Flag! Daytona 500:

Second Time by!

I will admit that I was some what skeptical about the new rules that NASCAR had implemented regarding the Green White Checkered Flag. It seemed arbitrary to me though not in a bad way. I totally appreciate the fact that NASCAR wants the races to finish as races and not as parade laps. I don’t know what it was about it the new rule that made me feel like they were trying too hard, but something seemed off.

I was TOTALLY wrong. I am so grateful that NASCAR decided that the race could have three times to get it done.

Maybe it was the fact that the race was so good up to the first red flag. Or that when they let the race go Green again, the racing was good again. Or that when they stopped the race to fuss over the hole in the track, we waited, and the race went Green and the racing was great. Without the new Try, Try Again Rule all of that build up would have been unimaginably anti-climactic.

A lot of people left while the race was stopped. Don’t even get me started on that. It makes no sense to me, I never understand why people leave any race before that checkered flag waves. The end of the race left me shaking. I won’t lie; I think that the stands would have come down if Dale Junior had won. But you should have heard everyone cheering for that Bass Pro Shops Chevy and for Jamie McMurray! I was happy to be there for his first Daytona 500 win.

Yes. It was cold. And by cold, I mean cold. But it rained on us last year, so I was happy to be dry!

Yes. They brought out the red flag, twice. But it was to fix things! And last year, they put out the red flag and then made me go home. So I was happy to have a race.

I love going to the Daytona 500. I save up and spend more money than I should but oh boy, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

First, Second, Third Time is surely the charm! Skirt on the Scene- Daytona 500 First, Second, Third Time is surely the charm! Skirt on the Scene- Daytona 500 Reviewed by The Track Girl on Thursday, February 18, 2010 Rating: 5