After an accident in Thursday’s first Dual race, it was determined that for the first time since 1972, there will not be a Waltrip in Sunday’s Daytona 500. This will be a bitter-sweet moment for Waltrip fans and Owensboro residents alike. Although Michael Waltrip will not be piloting a car in Sunday’s race, he will be joining his brother Darrell, in the TV broadcast booth for the race. This combination is sure to be entertaining for race fans! Two Owensboreans in a TV booth! Danger.

Even though cars have been on the track since last Friday for practice, teams now have a clearer view of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Following Thursday’s Gatorade Dual races, two drivers – Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth -- made their way to victory line while six haulers made their way northbound back to Charlotte.  The field of 43 drivers has been set for the 54th annual Great American Race. Forty-One hungry drivers will follow 2 of Jack Roush’s Fords to the green flag shortly after 12:00 CST on Sunday. MRN’s coverage begins on WBKR and wbkr.com at 11 a.m.    

            In the off-season, NASCAR made a multitude of rule changes to eliminate the “2 car push” that became prevalent during the 2011 racing season. As in every Speedweeks, NASCAR has been making changes to the rules as the racing has progressed throughout the week. When the checkered flag dropped for Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout, teams told NASCAR they had problems with overheating. To accommodate to the team’s complaints, NASCAR changed the pressure relief valve from 25 PSI to 28 PSI to relieve some of the overheating issues. Although the cars were experiencing some overheating issues in Thursday’s Dual races, the ambient temperature is expected to be about 10 degrees cooler during Sunday’s Daytona 500.

            So far, Speedweeks has proved to be an exciting start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. You can follow all of the NASCAR action on WBKR or wbkr.com beginning at 11AM!!!!

                                                                                                                                Blake Smith