When the famous command "Gentlemen, start your engines" came at the start of Thursday's first 125-miler, a funny thing happened: No one started their engines. Seconds later, when drivers got the sign to follow the pace car off of pit road, they finally hit the ignition switches.
The drivers delayed cranking up their cars in an effort to save fuel so they could possibly cover the 50-lap race without making a pit stop.
Crash causes Foyt to switch cars
Racing legend A.J. Foyt, who was involved in the eight-car crash in the first 125-mile race Thursday, will drive Eddie Bierschwale's car in Sunday's Daytona 500. Bierschwale's Oldsmobile, which normally carries the 23, will be switched to Foyt's 14 and will carry the sponsor names of Foyt's and Bierschwale's racing teams.
Wilson involved in 8-car crash
Bartow's Rick Wilson was visibly upset after being pulled into the eight-car pileup Thursday that was started by Alan Kulwicki's spinout down the front straightaway. Wilson was running with a second pack of leaders when the accident occurred.
"This is a shame because we really were hoping for a good run," said Wilson, who'll start 38th on Sunday. "I was afraid something like this might happen. I was hoping it wouldn't. It's too early for something like this to happen."
IROC series begins today at Daytona
The International Race of Champions resumes today with the first of its four legs and road racing champion Geoff Brabham, who'll start from the pole, thinks he has a better plan for starting on the 2.5-mile oval that's more familiar to NASCAR drivers.
"I started on the pole last year and I thought if I could just hesitate a little bit and I could duck behind Dale Earnhardt and everything would be good," Brabham said. "So I did and came out of the first corner in 12th. This time when the pace car disappears, I'm just going to stand on the gas."