We recently acquired some new furniture for our "library" and were finally able to shelve all the hardcover & paperback books, both racing related and others we have acquired over the years. In placing the volumes upon our newly purchased shelves it became quite apparent that we needed something to hold the tomes together as they seemed somewhat haphazardly organized. We purchased bookends; as I was placing the braces at either end of a stack I thought of how neat it would be if Matt Kenseth had won Homestead-Miami as he had done in Daytona at the beginning of this season. After winning back to back at the start of the year, I'm sure it would have given the somewhat beleaguered Roush racing team a reason to smile and perhaps a little momentum to carry them through the off season.
My hopes were high as the Fords of Greg Biffle and Bill Elliott sat in the top ten at the beginning of this contest, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger were close by too. After incurring a penalty upon pit road, the legendary 21 team was able to get back on the lead lap by not pitting and using the wave around strategy. The car needed long runs for handling to significantly improve as Elliott battled through traffic. Bill was in the mid-twenties for most of the day but finally was able to wrestle a sixteenth place finish out of the car, pretty good for a team that only competes part time.
It certainly would have been a welcome sight to Ford fans everywhere to have their manufacturer claim victory at a Ford sponsored event but it was not meant to be. It was great to see two Fords in the top ten at the end of the race though; Carl Edwards drove the 99 to a seventh place finish and a new star in the Ford constellation, AJ Allmendinger, who was frequently the top Ford in the race finished tenth.
Even the much lauded FR9 didn't get to show its prowess as David Ragan ran no higher than twenty-fifth and went two laps down when he came in on lap 164 for left side tires. One bright spot is that there have been no FR9 failures that have been reported, that I know of, since its very limited introduction.
Perhaps Matt Kenseth will bookend Daytona 500s.
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