God again shines down on NASCAR 10 years ago (to the day) when Dale Earnhardt died at Daytona on the final lap of the 500, it was Michael Waltrip who sped to victory. So like happens so many times in NASCAR, God shed his light down on the blessed series and lo and behold, guess who wins last night's truck race on the 10 year anniversary? You guessed it, Michael Waltrip.
And how did God do it this time? As Michael Waltrip came off Turn 4, all it took to nail down an emotional victory 10 years after the date of Dale Earnhardt’s death – and Waltrip’s own Daytona 500 triumph – was a last-ditch run to pass Elliott Sadler.
It was then that Waltrip’s spoiler laid down flat enabling him to gain straightaway speed and the win; and everything from that moment on, despite a compelling drive to victory for him, remains under a cloud of uncertainty Saturday morning.
In the midst of palpable emotion, memories of Dale Earnhardt and the significance of the 10-year anniversary overwhelming Waltrip concerns over how and what happened to “spoil” the run to the checkered flag became a hot topic during post-race activity. This much we know: the right side of the spoiler was angled flat, clearly at an illegal angle when Waltrip crossed the line. The bizarre turn of events roused drivers Kasey Kahne and Robby Gordon on Twitter, both questioning its legality before the No. 15 Toyota could even drive its way into Victory Lane.
Immediately, NASCAR confiscated both sides of the spoiler and will take them back to their R&D Center in North Carolina for further inspection. Late Friday night, PR spokesman Kerry Tharp gave some basic speculation on the issue but explained the win will stand regardless of what they find going forward.
“The spoiler broke,” he explained. “It appeared to be a failure on a part, we’re going to look at it and make any determinations past that.”
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