Northwest Sports Fans – Get Ready For The Daytona 500

We love our sports in the “Great Northwest.”

Trail Blazers, Seahawks and Mariners to name a few. When NW fans get behind a sport, it’s all in.  The fans are the reason CenturyLink Field is so loud NFL teams find it hard to beat the Seahawks, especially late in the season. Playoffs at the Moda Center watching the Blazers?  Bring your ear plugs!

We have another great sporting event we can get excited about this time of year.  The Daytona 500. Pull up a seat for a family friendly weekend sports spectacle that has something for everybody. Kids love car racing.  Give them a little encouragement. Maye we’ll get a NASCAR event in the Northwest.

Today’s technology makes following your favorite driver better than ever.  Live in-car video cameras and everywhere else to catch all the best viewing angles.  Feel like you’re in the car when/if there is a wreck at nearly 200 mph to get a real perspective on what these drivers go through.  They are athletes; fine-tuned athletes paid at the levels of other top athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL who put their life on the line every week. Check it out.

The “Monster Energy” NASCAR Daytona 500 kicks off the 2017 NASCAR Cup season this Sunday, February 26th at 11:00am Pacific Time on Fox.

Most sports have their “big game” or “match” at the end of the season.  Not so with NASCAR.  They start their season with the race that is known as; “The Great American Race” or “The Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.”  The Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s event of the year.  Hands down.

In 2006 a friend of mine from Mississippi challenged me to pick a NASCAR driver and car prior to the 2006 Daytona 500.  He could not believe I was not a NASCAR fan!  His favorite driver was Jeff Gordon and the Dupont #24 car.

I picked Jimmie Johnson in the Lowes #48 car.  No, seriously!

We watched that Daytona 500 and I fell in love with stock car racing.  Not only did Jimmie Johnson win the Daytona 500, he would also win the next five NASCAR Cup championships (2006-2010). He won the Cup again in 2013 and last year for a total of seven NASCAR Cup championships. He is the modern day “King” of stock car racing.

Only Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. have won seven championships.  Johnson will win more.  You can quote me right now;

“Jimmie Johnson will be the greatest stock car racing driver of all time when he parks his ride.” 

Every driver on race day knows the Lowes #48 car will be lurking going into the final laps of any race; he just comes up with different ways to win. 80 to be exact.

If you’re a NASCAR fan, watching Jimmie Johnson drive the Lowes #48 car is equal to watching Michael Jordan play basketball. There’s Jimmie, and there’s everybody else. He’s that good.

Kasey Kahne, from Enumclaw Washington is another driver to watch this Sunday driving the Farmers Insurance #5 car. Kahne and Johnson are teammates on the Hendrick Motorsports team.  I’m sure Kahne has tried to glean some of Johnson’s experience and aura.  Not to mention Dale Earnhardt Jr, also a Hendrick driver who is a fan favorite and son of the late-great Dale Earnhardt.

Kahne is a fierce competitor who wants to add this year’s Daytona 500 to his resume’.  He has 17 career wins, 89 top five finishes and 179 top ten finishes in 13 seasons.

Go pick a NASCAR driver and his/her car.  Kahne is due. Denny Hamlin and his FedEx #11 car won last year.  Don’t forget Johnson or Earnhardt. Just pick one!

Sit down Sunday and watch the greatest stock car racing event on the planet cheering for “your” driver.  You’ll be glad you did.