Saturday, 22 June 2024

Blue Oval Bonanza: Ford's sweep at Daytona takes many by surprise

Posted On Sunday, 22 February 2015 19:00 Written by
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Things were looking good for Chevy and Toyota heading into the weekend.
Matt Kenseth won the Shootout in his Toyota, and Hendrick teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson won the Twin 150s. The Gibbs cars and the Hendrick cars seemed like the best bet to win the biggest race of the year.

No one even mentioned the Fords.

And then a sweep happened for the Blue Oval.


Tyler Reddick took the checkered flag Friday in one of Brad Keselowski's trucks, his first big-three series win.

Then, once the dust settled from Kyle Busch's unfortunate accident Saturday, Roush driver Ryan Reed took him his first win in a major series in an exciting finish.

On Sunday, while it appeared at first that the Hendrick cars would dominate all day, Penske Racing's Joey Logano wouldn't give up. By the end of the race, he had managed to get up front and hold off fast and furious competitors in some of the most exciting racing I've seen in years at Daytona.
Again, a Ford was in victory lane, along with a big fat check and a berth in the Chase secured.
Who woulda thunk it?

Last time Ford swept a three-race weekend? -- last August at Bristol.

Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development for Ford Motor Company, said: “You can’t ask for a better weekend starting out with the truck race and Brad Keselowski’s truck team winning and then Ryan Reed wining the XFINITY race for Roush Fenway Racing and now Team Penske and Joey Logano with the Daytona 500 championship. Roush Yates Engines for those three wins plus winning the 24 Hours of Daytona a few weeks before that. Roush Yates Engines are right now undefeated at Daytona.”

Yes, I know this is Daytona and anyone can win -- and we'll see how the Fords do at the non-plate tracks starting next week.

But anyone quick to dismiss the Ford wins is mistaken.

While it is true that their former flagship operation, Roush-Fenway Racing, is down in recent years, they're not dead yet -- far from it -- and I expect a major rebound in 2015. And Penske Racing is among the few teams I would still call elite Add in some young talent like Ryan Blaney in the 21 car for the Wood Brothers and Aric Almorola at Richard Petty Motorsports, and you have a solid core to build on for the brand's revival.
Chevy and Toyota may still grab most of the headlines in 2015 due their impressive list of stars, but the Fords will not be forgotten -- especially if they keep winning like they did this weekend.

Other thoughts:

Don't mess with Danica
-- Based on how she ran up on Denny after their incident in the 150s, I'm guessing the other drives might want to be a bit more considerate around Danica Patrick going forward. And this time, I'd say Danica had a legitimate grievance. Denny didn't need to be running so close to her when he knew the destabilizing effect it was having on her car. Recipe for disaster.

Safety shame
-- I won't spell it out in a whole column as others have already explained it well, but the fact that Daytona didn't have SAFER barriers around the track already is a damn shame. The track is lucky Kyle Busch is not in worse shape, and all other tracks need to follow suit like Daytona is doing and make sure the entire track is kept is safe as possible. No excuses.

And then there is Kurt
-- There are a lot of people saying Kurt Busch should not be suspended right now. While I can see why they view the suspension as a rush to judgment, the fact is NASCAR has to be proactive when domestic violence situations are involved. The court findings about what happened that night that led to the restraining order are enough cause to violate NASCAR's rules, and I'm sure that's what Busch heard at his appeals.
Now, the question is how long the suspension lasts; and that really depends how soonthe attorney general decides about charges -- and what he decides.

Matt Myftiu can be reached on Twitter @MattMyftiu. Follow AutoTechReviews on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or follow the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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