Daytona Beach, Fla – Normally the big teams with the massive budgets are up front competing for wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on a weekly basis. Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske are usually the teams to beat. That’s why it was so refreshing to see teams like JTG-Daughtery Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and the Wood Brothers land in the top five of Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Ryan Blaney nearly took the Wood Brothers to victory lane for the second time in the last seven years today as he came home second in the season opening race at Daytona on Sunday evening. Blaney, started 36th and quickly moved up to the top five early on in the race. He was a contender all day and had the single car team in contention for most of it.
But, throw in Aric Almirola running up front in the end too, and you saw the Wood Brothers and Richard Petty Motorsports duking it out like the good old days.
Yes, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch won, but seeing the famed No. 21 and No. 43 Fords competing for the Daytona 500 win in the end was refreshing to see. It was circa 1970s era all over again.
Between the two teams, they have a combined 388 Cup victories. They are two of NASCAR’s oldest teams. They’ve been around for a long time and here they are nabbing top fives in the year’s biggest race.
Blaney coming home second and Almirola fourth was fun to watch. Now, can they keep this up for the full season or will they falter a bit. For two single car teams without the budget of others, it’s great to see them up front.
Hope it stays this way for a while.