The Daytona 500 Chronicled via Photo Essay

First thing’s first…the Daytona 500 is not “the Super Bowl of NASCAR;” it’s the “Great American Race.”  I don’t know who coined the Super Bowl of NASCAR phrase, but it’s just wrong…the earliest I’ve heard of it was in Days of Thunder (first time happens at 1:47).  A more appropriate comparison would be to refer to it as the “Masters of Nascar” or the “Rose Bowl of NASCAR,” but it just makes no sense to compare it to the Super Bowl.  Second, the only way to describe going to The 500 is as a unique cultural experience.  I don’t care what your opinions on NASCAR or racing in general are, if you’re anywhere near Daytona Beach, FL in February, you need to do yourself a favor and go to the race. The entertainment value of the race is easily matched by that of the crowd.  My wife, parents, youngest brother and I made the pilgrimage down to Daytona a couple of weekends ago, and what follows is a pictorial perspective of the 2011 Daytona 500 from the Superstretch (Lund) seats (click pics to enlarge).

Spotters above the grandstands at the Start/Finish line.

When they round turn 2 and are entering the Superstretch, you can feel it in your chest.

Seriously, LIKE HORSES!!

The 2x2 drafting strategy in action.

Tony Stewart in his new Chevy pushing his old Toyota, driven by Joey Logano.

The crowd goes nuts when Junior runs up front (happens frequently throughout the race...rarely by the end of the race).

For you old guys (and my mom), Mark Martin.

Rookie, Knoxville native, and eventual winner Trevor Bayne.

So, you’ve seen the race.  Now it’s time to enjoy the crowd.  I’ve chosen a few highlights for your viewing pleasure.

A favorite pasttime of Mrs. Mizerle06 was spotting large ladies pretending to be sessy with their bra straps hanging out.

Again...these weren't hard to find, by the way.

Proportionally, this guy has all of the characteristics of your classic midget...except that he's well over 6 ft. tall when standing.

Fat, drunk, and whyte is no way to go through life, son.

Look! It's Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, and Jimmy Johnson...wait a minute...what's that right in the middle of the shot?

Yeah, he sees it too.

Srsly? Srsly.

You’re welcome.

  • ParrishWalton

    That last photo is scary.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    even scarier in real life.

  • Johnny

    I think of the race as the redneck superbowl…

  • HawkEye

    The pictures of that women in the confederate flag just kept getting worse.

  • Sanders

    Truly frightening.

  • arkbadger

    For you old guys (and my mom), Mark Martin.

    the pride of Batesville, Arkansas!!!

    Miz, I guess these were taken with your new camera? some pretty good looking pics considering the speed the cars were going. they would be a blurred mess with my old point & shoot.

  • younglefty

    Never been to Daytona, but I’ve been to Talladega. It’s an awesome spectacle to behold.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    Miz, I guess these were taken with your new camera? some pretty good looking pics considering the speed the cars were going. they would be a blurred mess with my old point & shoot.

    yeah, I had to play with it a lot even to get that good of a shot. those guys were coming out of turn 2 and accelerating up to 200+ or so. I had to set the shutter speed high, focus on a spot on the track where I wanted to take the pic of the car, then hold the button down to maintain that focus and find the car I wanted to take the shot of and then follow it as it’s going by while fully pressing the button to take the pic.

    and if you click and zoom in, they’re STILL blurry.

  • http://thevictoryformation.com patphish

    Fat, drunk, and whyte is no way to go through life, son.

    Good thing I quit drinkin’.

  • Trey

    Redneck Super Bowl?Not everyone there looks liketyat chick.

    Great pics

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    ark – I also had to reduce the file size and quality to upload. the original picture showing the spotters can be zoomed up to seeing their faces. I was clear across the track when I took that shot (actually two shots that I roughly spliced together with Paint)…basically a straighline distance of about 1/2 mile.

  • knightwhosaysni

    The pictures of that women in the confederate flag just kept getting worse.
    .

    Somebody just found next tuesday’s happy hour picture.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    Somebody just found next tuesday’s happy hour picture.

    awesome.

  • Geeezeus

    Great pics Miz.

    Never been to a NASCAR race, but I’ve attended the Vancouver (when they were running) and Edmonton Indy races. The speed of the cars down at track level was insane.

  • arkbadger

    what kind of camera did you say it was again? I’m interested in getting a new one but I’m not that big into new technology so I have no clue what to get, and don’t want to spend a ton of $$.

  • cycledan

    Are tickets hard to get? You say that if I am in Daytona in February, I should go. I would imagine that tickets are either hard to get or very expensive.

    Things I gathered from your post:
    1. Rednecks own cameras
    2. There are black guys at Nascar events
    3. That fence protecting the fans is even more important than the backstop at a baseball game.
    4. The tatoos are more repulsive than the fat and exposed bra strap (my $0.02)
    5. Ben Hur type spikes coming out of the wheels would look real cool but probably ruin the race.
    6. Are they allowed to put velcro on their bumpers to facilitate drafting?
    7. Was just wondering how long the girl in the confederate flag outfit planned what she was going to wear to Daytona.

  • Trey

    Ark,

    It had to be a Kodak single shot like that beatitiful woman in the final three frames was holding.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    ark – we have a Sony a230 DSLR with the standard 18-55 mm lens, a 75-300 mm zoom lens, and my new toy, a 11-18 mm super wide angle lens.

    we went with the Sony because Sony bought out Minolta several years ago and we already had the zoom lens for my wife’s old Minolta film camera and the zoom lens was transferrable.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    Are tickets hard to get? You say that if I am in Daytona in February, I should go. I would imagine that tickets are either hard to get or very expensive.

    dan – the downturn in the economy really hit NASCAR and they’ve decreased ticket prices. our seats were $55 each and you could have bought some in our area on the Superstretch probably almost all the way up to the race.

  • Trey

    1. Rednecks own cameras

    Gotta get pictures of the new truck or whachashot.

    2. There are black guys at Nascar events

    Yes, believe it or not there are black NASCAR fans. True Story…Daytona Beach was the city that broke the race barrier in baseball.

    3. That fence protecting the fans is even more important than the backstop at a baseball game.

    If the fence holds…yes.

    4. The tatoos are more repulsive than the fat and exposed bra strap (my $0.02)

    A little ink never hurt. Too bad her hair is in the way.

    5. Ben Hur type spikes coming out of the wheels would look real cool but probably ruin the race.

    And kill a lot of people….but your point is noted.

    6. Are they allowed to put velcro on their bumpers to facilitate drafting?

    Good idea.

    7. Was just wondering how long the girl in the confederate flag outfit planned what she was going to wear to Daytona

    None. She’s probably been wearing it for a week or so.

  • http://www.oreadboomkings.fantake.com Triston27

    Did anyone get slammed, bumped, or nudged?

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    Did anyone get slammed, bumped, or nudged?

    all day long.

  • BigD

    2. There are black guys at Nascar events

    You forgot the “Who Knew?!” at the end of that sentence.

    And the “/Combine’d”.

  • John G aka Shatner

    Mom?

  • Watsonian

    Did anyone get slammed, bumped, or nudged?

    Sounds like my prom night

    /weak

  • cycledan

    None. She’s probably been wearing it for a week or so.

    Now you are going to get me in trouble because I laughed out loud at that one.

    Mom?

    Oh no. Funny.

    BTW, I am going to be in Orlando for work. Flying in the 21st on Monday and back on Thursday night. Staying at the Doubletree Resorts Orlando at 10100 International Drive.

  • Watsonian

    I’ve never been to a race, and I can’t imagine it being that much fun.

  • http://joebushfreelance.com vez

    gsg, did you see the news on funerals and 1st amendment rights?

    so, uh, races are cool. great shots. where’s the pic of the wife? and, it had to run through yer mind what if there was a flippy car crash from your proximity. so fast

    /been to 2 Indy 500s and one drag race

  • Johnny

    When I was growing up my brother used to watch the races. I was never into it but the purring of the engines produced some of the best naps I’ve ever had

  • TheTicketMaster

    Wow. Awesome pictures in every sense.

    The 2×2 racing ones were amazing.

  • rekcalsa

    ark – I also had to reduce the file size and quality to upload. the original picture showing the spotters can be zoomed up to seeing their faces. I was clear across the track when I took that shot (actually two shots that I roughly spliced together with Paint)…basically a straighline distance of about 1/2 mile.

    Ya know, you can get programs that do the stitching themselves…my Canon DSLR came with a simple program that I use all the time. Great pics, especially the confederate hottie.

  • http://www.thevictoryformation.com Mark Mizerle06

    Ya know, you can get programs that do the stitching themselves…my Canon DSLR came with a simple program that I use all the time.

    we have Photoshop, but I haven’t learned to use it yet. and I threw this post together fairly quickly so Paint worked just fine. I think our camera came with a photo editing program as well.

  • rekcalsa

    we have Photoshop, but I haven’t learned to use it yet. and I threw this post together fairly quickly so Paint worked just fine. I think our camera came with a photo editing program as well.

    I have yet to buy Photoshop since I don’t think I’ll have the time to really learn it. I heard Paint.NET is pretty good…and FREE.

  • http://armchairsportsblogger.blogspot.com JP Manahan

    i use picasa for editing.

  • Knightro

    BTW, I am going to be in Orlando for work.

    Well then, let’s find a way for you, trey, and myself to get together! Trey’s got the first round!