OBSERVATIONS: Workers idled, but clearly able

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Observations on Thursday's action at Daytona International Speedway:

Idled but able: Volunteers boost team

Several of the people who worked on the cars that Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield raced into the Daytona 500 field on Thursday were among the hundreds who got laid off from their jobs with NASCAR teams since the end of last season.

Since Baldwin announced his plans to start a team, some days when he shows up at his shop there are guys there who just want to know if there's anything they can do to help. If those two teams need any extra crew guys to work Sunday's race, you can bet there will those who'll offer to come down and help, too.

"The racing drug that all of us are addicted to is what has kept this team going," Riggs said.

Intention not really the issue

The season's first real hard feelings are between Ryan Newman and David Reutimann. Reutimann got into the rear of Newman's Chevrolet during Thursday's second race, sending Newman into the wall.

"I know he didn't do it on purpose," Newman said. "But we were 10 or 15 laps from the end. Why do it?

"Evidently his race car was faster than he was."

Cue the 'Twilight Zone' theme music

Here's a surreal moment for you. Joey Logano is ushered into the media center as the top rookie in the first Gatorade Duel after finishing fourth overall.

As he takes his seat on the stage, a dozen television sets around the room tuned to Speed's coverage of qualifying races goes to a commercial. Itís a commercial for The Home Depot featuring Logano. If he noticed, he didn't show it.