|by the numbers |
|$2,277,975 ||Dale Jarrett’s take from the Daytona 500 |
|499 ||Counting Jarrett’s victory in the 500, the number of victories for Ford in NASCAR’s top division |
|498 ||Lap when the Daytona 500 ended (the last two laps were run under caution) |
|34 ||Jeff Gordon’s finish in the Daytona 500 |
|13 ||The number of Craftsman Trucks that finished the Daytona 250 running |
|.153 ||The margin of victory in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 (Matt Kenseth over Joe Nemechek) |
Victory LapsDale JarrettDale Jarrett, parlaying his '99 efforts, dominated Daytona. His victory in the main event marked the third time he has captured the Daytona 500.*Winner: Daytona 500* Winner: Bud Pole Award
Matt KensethMatt Kenseth staked his claim at the top of the talented rookie class of 100 by first winning the Busch race, the NAPA Auto Parts 300, and then finishing 10th in the Daytona 500, three spots ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.*Winner: NAPA Auto Parts 300*Finished 10th in Daytona 500
Mike WallaceIn the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Daytona International Speedway, Mike Wallace etched his name into the record books. Wallace took the lead and then took the checkers on the last lap of a very competitive race.*Winner: Daytona 250
In The SpotlightRicky RuddRicky Rudd has gone from lost in the pack in 1999 to a hot shoe in 2000. The move to Robert Yates and the #28 car has vaulted Rudd back into the contender category. Being a teammate of Dale Jarrett doesn't hurt his chances either.*Winner: Outside pole by virtue of First-Place finish in the second Gatorade Twin 125-mile Qualifying Race.*Finished 15th in Daytona 500
Johnny BensonJohnny Benson came out of nowhere to almost steal the show in Daytona. After an 11th-hour sponsorship deal put Lycos.com on the #10 Pontiac, Benson came on to lead in the late stages of the race. Alas, Jarrett passed him in the end, spoiling the opportunity for many journalists who were already writing the Cinderella story.*Finished 12th in Daytona 500
Bill Elliott"Awesome Bill," after a long drought, lived up to his nickname once again.
Bill Elliott's win in the first of the Gatorade Twin 125s marked the first time since Darlington, September 1994, that he has stepped foot in the winner's circle. Elliott went on to prove that his surprise run was no fluke by finishing a strong third in the Daytona 500.
Geoffrey BodineBy far the most hair-raising moment of Speedweeks was the incredible crash involving NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver Geoffrey Bodine. Bodine's #15 Line-X Ford careened off the wall in the tri-oval at full speed, was hit in midair, caught fire, tumbled for what seemed like forever, and finally came to a rest upside down near Turn 1. What was left of the smoldering wreck was almost unrecognizable. Despite the horrendous scene, Bodine suffered relatively minor injuries including a concussion, a fractured wrist, and a mid-back injury.
Rookie RatingsThe exceptional 2000 Winston Cup rookie class delivered as promised. Matt Kenseth began the year on top with a 10th-Place finish. Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish in 12th.
Ray BestosRookie of the Year Points
Rookie of the Year Points
|MATT KENSETH ||12 |
|DALE EARNHARDT JR. ||10 |
|SCOTT PRUETT ||9 |
|STACY COMPTON ||8 |
|DAVE BLANEY ||7 |
Iroc ReportDale Earnhardt finished just ahead of Tony Stewart to win the first round of IROC XXIV. The win was Earnhardt's 11th in the series, equaling Al Unser Jr.'s record for the most race victories in series history.Making their debut in the series were Indy Racing League (IRL) drivers Greg Ray and Mark Dismore. The IRL drivers finished 9th and 12th respectively.
New Looks For 2000There were a number of new sponsors sporting first-time paint schemes at Daytona this year. A couple of the more notable were
News MakersA Shocking DevelopmentNASCAR's new uniform shock-and-spring package, now the standard mandated on superspeedways, was in effect for the first time at Daytona. The new shocks kept cars from being lowered as much as last year, resulting in more wind resistance, slightly slower speeds, and less creativity among savvy crewmen.
The main criticism of the new rule is that it severely limits one of the main chassis-tuning adjustments crews can make. The shock-and-spring package seemed to give the aerodynamic advantage to the Fords. No rule changes were expected as of race time.
NASCAR Trucks At DaytonaIn spite of a lengthy black flag due to the Geoffrey Bodine crash and more than half of the field falling victim to to either accidents or engine problems, the inaugural Craftsman Truck race at Daytona International Speedway was deemed a success. There was a series-record 31 lead changes among 12 drivers with Mike Wallace taking the lead for good on the last turn of the last lap. Look for the trucks to be back in Daytona in 2001.
Dominant FordsFords dominated Daytona. And, no matter how much the GM contingent cried foul, NASCAR would not commit to making any rule changes that may have evened the playing field. The first five finishers of the Daytona 500 were Ford drivers. The lone Chevy driver in the top 10 was Terry Labonte, who finished seventh. The Taurus was alleged to have a better aero package aided by the new standard-issue shock rule.
Potent Quotable"That's the worst racing I've seen at Daytona in a long time. They took NASCAR Winston Cup racing and made it some of the sorriest racing. They took racing out of the hands of the drivers and the crews. They just killed the racing at Daytona. They took good racing and turned it into this. This is a joke. To have to drive a race car under those conditions, to take the crew chief and the driver out of it, just throw some springs in and go, boys. That's all you've got. The cars that have the best aerodynamic advantage are going to win. It's a damn joke to have to race like this."
-Dale Earnhardt, expressing his dismay at the new "standard issue" shock package for superspeedways mandated by NASCAR.