Daytona 500 2012: 10 Lessons Learned in the Great American Race

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Daytona 500 2012: 10 Lessons Learned in the Great American Race
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The 54th running of the Daytona 500 is in the books and once again, we saw some game-changing moments that worked well for some drivers, while others became victims of dramatic events that are just part of the Great American Race.

It was a bizarre race scheduled for Sunday and finished on Tuesday morning. The race lasted nearly six hours and included a red flag condition lasting two hours for an amazing spectacle.

In a race where track position, overheating and the dangers of bump-drafting can turn a driver's day into a really good one or a really bad one, drama is guaranteed.

Every team has some strategy going into a race, but often it doesn't take long for the best of plans to go out the window at speeds approaching 200 mph.

With the return of more pack-style racing, as opposed to the boring two-car dance partner routine that was disliked by fans and drivers, we saw the return of imminent danger on every lap.

Cars are driven with a delicate balance of being as close to out of control as one can be while still allowing the driver to maintain control.

The side-draft off a car can have devastating results in a heartbeat. Bump-drafting at the wrong moment can result in mayhem on the track.

Many things were learned in the latest addition of the Daytona 500—some good and some not so good.

These are some of the lessons experienced by drivers and teams of the 43-car field in NASCAR's 2012 Super Bowl.

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