Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Daytona 500 Beach, Fla. Weather: Clear, near 60 degrees at 3 p.m. race start and cooler at race finish after dark Winner: Kevin Harvick in the ...
Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Daytona 500
Weather: Clear, near 60 degrees at 3 p.m. race start and cooler at race finish after dark
Winner: Kevin Harvick in the #29 Chevrolet from Richard Childress Racing
Top-five finishers: Harvick, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Mike Wallace and David Ragan
NASCAR's 2007 race season kicked off with SpeedWeeks activities at Daytona International Speedway that included practices, qualifying, showcase races and the running of the top three series of Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck. To handle the requirements, Goodyear brought about 6,000 race tires. In a week that saw controversy, fines and suspensions for five teams as NASCAR levied some of its heaviest penalties to date, Goodyear's tires proved to be largely trouble free.
Race recap: Sunday's Nextel Cup race finished under a green/white/checkered flag overtime sprint that saw Kevin Harvick shoot off turn four on the final turn of 500 laps to edge a couple feet past Mark Martin's front bumper as their cars raced mere inches apart across the finish line. The Daytona 500 win topped off a double-header of weekend victories for Harvick and Richard Childress Racing. Just two hundreds of a second determined the winner.
As the two leaders crossed the checkered flag, mayhem broke out just behind them as eight cars wrecked and spun, including that of Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer which landed on its roof as it slid across the finish line and burst into flames. Bowyer climbed out unharmed with an 18th place finish.
Goodyear comments from Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales:
"We made a right-side tire change to address the longer fuel runs in Nextel Cup, where fuel cells went from 13 gallons at Daytona last year to 18-gallon cells this year. The tire was made harder for that reason, and we were happy with the performance we saw in all three series over the weekend. There was very competitive and comfortable racing.
"There were two full fuel stop runs of about 42 laps during the Nextel Cup race, and our Goodyear tires allowed the cars to run at the bottom, middle and top of the track. The Busch Series also registered a full fuel run of 51 laps."
Saturday's Busch Series Orbitz 300 ended with Kevin Harvick clicking off the victory in his #21 Autozone Chevrolet, 0.460 seconds ahead of Dave Blaney. Harvick averaged 156.239 mph as the race went through 16 lead changes among 10 drivers and three cautions for 13 laps of the 120-lap event. Rounding out the top five were Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin. Harvick, the reigning Busch Series champion, lead from lap 79 to the finish.
On Friday night, Jack Sprague pulled off his 28th career NASCAR Craftsman Truck win in his #60 Toyota, with Johnny Benson finishing 0.031 seconds behind. Also finishing in the top five were Travis Kvapil, Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine. The 100-lap event had seven cautions for 34 laps and 21 lead changes among nine drivers. Because of numerous accidents, the winner's average speed was 117.739 mph. Eighteen of 36 starters finished on the lead lap.
-credit: goodyear racing