The first race of the 2013 NASCAR season didn’t exactly go as I had hoped, but anything and everything can happen during speedway races, especially at Daytona.
I was really confident in our No. 70 ML Motorsports Chevrolet team going into the 200-lap Nationwide Series event Saturday. From the drop of the green flag, I knew we had a fast car and would be in good shape at the end of the race if we were lucky enough to stay clear of the wrecks.
Unfortunately, after running solidly in the top 15 for the majority of the race, we were collected in a late-race incident that ended our day early, only four laps shy of a strong finish.
Everything happens so fast at Daytona. Cars are racing bumper to bumper at super speedways, so if someone checks up in front of you or bobbles just slightly, there’s a pretty good chance a wreck is about to take place. The unfortunate part is a dozen cars usually end up in the mess as well.
That’s basically what happened in my situation. Two cars collected in front of me, and I ended up being sandwiched in the middle of about eight.
It’s definitely disappointing, especially when we had such a strong showing throughout the race, but that’s speedway racing for you. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To be honest, I was completely crushed when I first climbed out of the car. It’s disheartening, for sure. The guys put so much effort into building these cars over the offseason and deserve strong finishes week-in and week-out, so as a driver, you don’t take days like this lightly.
I still have to thank the man above for keeping me safe. It can always be worse. Fortunately, I wasn’t involved in the final-lap wreck. I couldn’t imagine what the drivers or the fans experienced.
As drivers, we go into this sport knowing there are risks every time we step into the car. However, NASCAR has done an amazing job at making improvements in order to keep us safe.
My heart goes out to the fans who were injured Saturday. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I hope they all have fast recoveries.
Thank you all for reading my blogs thus far. I’m sure I will have some exciting things to share next week after I travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race. Stay tuned!