- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Hendrick stars involved in big wreck at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - Hendrick Motorsports had a rough start to the Daytona 500.
Three of the team’s four cars, including five-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, were involved in a 14-car wreck early in the 500-mile race Sunday.
Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet was crumpled front and back, forcing the team to the garage area for major repairs. He returned to the race 30 laps down, essentially running for points while extending his winless streak to 66 races.
“It doesn’t really matter at this point,” Gordon said. “Our chances of winning the Daytona 500 are over. That’s the disappointing part.”
Johnson’s No. 48 car also needed lengthy repairs. He returned to the track 18 laps down. Martin had fewer issues. His team worked on his No. 5 car on pit road. Still, Martin fell three laps behind the leaders and looked like he would extended his winless streak in the Daytona 500.
But Martin made a strong comeback. He took advantage of NASCAR’s free-pass rule to get back on the lead lap and was running in the top 10 with about 50 laps to go.
Gordon, meanwhile, questioned the aggressiveness of his fellow drivers, saying the two-car tandems that have become the norm during Speedweeks were dicier than expected at nearly 200 mph.
“What I don’t quite understand is why guys are doing it three-wide, three-deep running for 28th,” Gordon said. “They need to let it thin out a little. As soon as it thins out, then go to it, and it can be very safe and pretty harm-free.
“But you see them, and they’re pushing and shoving up the middle down the back straightaway, and you’re like, ‘What are they doing?’”
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip started the accident by running into the back of teammate David Reutimann. Waltrip owns the team. Reutimann spun sideways and collected several cars in his wake, including several favorites.
“You’re going to see a lot more of what we just saw,” Gordon predicted.
The crash ended an otherwise solid Speedweeks for Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt and Gordon were on the front row, a promising start after team owner Rick Hendrick made significant changes to his organization in the offseason.
Earnhardt, who has just one victory in three seasons with Hendrick Motorsports, was paired with Gordon’s crew chief, Steve Letarte. Earnhardt moved into the same shop as Johnson and Knaus, and Hendrick believes Letarte’s strong personality will help rebuild the waning confidence of NASCAR’s most popular driver.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow