Danica fans share race day breakfast with fans of the past

"Danicamania" has arrived at Daytona
Todd Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR
The temperature in Daytona Beach had already reached 70 degrees at 7 a.m. Thursday when NASCAR fans started to gather for breakfast at the Bob Evans across from the track.  Race day 2012 had finally arrived and fans were ready for the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races which set the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Not all fans wore driver gear but those gathered in the popular breakfast spot showed the progression of the sport and the wide range of fan appeal that has preserved the history and stands to assure the future of NASCAR.

A shirt that simply said “Wood Brothers” reminded fans that one of the oldest teams in NASCAR is home to the reigning Daytona 500 championship, won by Trevor Bayne who just turned 21 Thursday. The most old school gear included a Darrell Waltrip shirt and a Winston Cup tee.

"Danicamania" was obvious at the restaurant as it is everywhere in Daytona this week.  A young woman in her 20s, a gentleman who admitted to being in his 60s and a table of mixed ages, all sported Danica Patrick gear.  The green GoDaddy.com Chevrolet and the GoDaddy girl have brought renewed interest and new fans to the sport in 2012.

Four Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans from near Savannah had arrived Wednesday night and were hoping to see NASCAR’s most popular driver in Victory Lane.  The four had been fans of Dale Earnhardt and, like many, now cheer for his son.  They wore plain shirts, however, with no indication of their allegiance but hope the driver of the No. 88 will drive to Victory Lane soon.

NASCAR fans are passionate about their drivers but are also fans of the sport.  They will enjoy lots of good racing this week and arrive early Sunday for the Daytona 500 when they will be wearing their driver allegiance on their heads and chests.

They will cheer loudly for their driver but they will also applaud the winner of The Great American Race and then start making plans to return next year when a new crop of drivers just might change their allegiance.
Danica fans share race day breakfast with fans of the past Danica fans share race day breakfast with fans of the past Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Thursday, February 23, 2012 Rating: 5