Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Daytona 500 Extra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Daytona 500 Extra

Article excerpt

COLOR COORDINATOR

All eyes were on both the track and the weather radar yesterday. The color schemes are surprisingly similar:

NASCAR***Color***Weather radar

Racing at full speed***Green***Rain, no racing

Caution, hold position***Yellow***Heavy rain, head inside

Race stopped***Red***Violent weather

One lap to go***White***Snow, pity the Northeast

OVEHEARD

"This is Day-TO-na! It just moves my heart to be in this position. I want to win no matter what, rain, shine or whatever. If it's an official race, don't even ask me if it matters to me."

Michael Waltrip

On his victory

OVERHEARD

"Got a little dirt in my teeth."

Ryan Newman

On his wreck

"That's why it took Dale Earnhardt 17 years to win. Sometimes, it's just a $2 part."

Tony Eury Sr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief after alternator failure caused him to finish 36th

WHO'S HOT

Dale Earnhardt Inc.

The team has won four of the last five races at Daytona and seven of the last nine restrictor plate races.

WHO'S NOT

Ryan Newman. He finished 43rd and took the wildest spin of the day with his tri-oval crash when he was hit from behind.

HAIL, COLUMBIA

To commemorate the loss of the seven astronauts on board the space shuttle Columbia, each car in the field displayed a painted STS-107, Feb. 1, 2003 logo. The symbol included an image of the shuttle and the names of each astronaut.

NOT QUITE A RECORD START

Michael Waltrip led the first 34 laps, one shy of the record 35 held by Bill Elliott (1987).

NO FREE BEER

Rusty Wallace, whose sponsor, Miller Lite, had promised a coupon for a free six-pack of beer to every adult ticket-holder at Daytona if he won, sent fans home unhappy, starting near the back and finishing 25th and never in contention.

COMMERCIALS

Befitting the Super Bowl of auto racing, several sponsors unveiled new commercials specifically for the Daytona 500. …

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