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From The Marbles

Happy Hour: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 500 and Austin Dillon

Cars go fast. Really fast.
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during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.

We're back! And we have some great material for our first in-season Happy Hour. The Madison Rising edition didn't count, we just had some emails that were too good to share. Let's get to it. This is going to be good.

I think they did an awesome rendition of the National Anthem! It showed lots of emotion, and pride . I enjoy country and old music for my favorite music, but I thought this was great! It even sent a chill down my spine. I believe all the soldiers who fought, and those that gave their lives would be proud of Madison Risings rendition of the National Anthem. Thank you! - Nan

Sorry, I had to publish one more. No more Madison Rising forever and ever and ever. And no. Just, no, Nan. No.

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Is the NASCAR glass half empty or half full coming out of Daytona? Junior wins, Junior tweets, etc. great for sport, ( As was Trevor Bayne, Wood Bros. win if i recall), or very low ratings,low secondary market resale ticket prices etc. bad for sport. And as a side question, how much did NASCAR luck out by the veto of the Arizona law and the questions that would have brought this weekend. Thanks, keep the good work going. - Brian

This was the best possible PR outcome for NASCAR that didn't involve a certain female driver in a lime green car. The No. 3 on the pole and then Earnhardt Jr. winning? That's a nice lift. But the million-dollar question is how long it will last. Are more people going to tune in at Phoenix because Junior won? And if they do, are they going to be bored to tears with what we're all expecting to be a one-groove racetrack?

TV ratings were down for the 500, but that's some overrated talk. The race had an over six-hour rain delay. How many people have the ability to put their Sunday afternoon and evening into a NASCAR race, even if it's the Daytona 500?

NASCAR is just like the NFL when it comes to the Arizona bill that was vetoed by Gov. Brewer Wednesday. It allows the focus to be on the racing and not the inevitable "What do you think about this?" questions that would have followed had it been passed. The NFL was in a tougher spot though. Threatening to move the Super Bowl can't be empty talk.

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Brian France mentioned that it could be a possibility if Fox and the track agreed to it. I could see it happening if NASCAR wanted to move it back to President's Day weekend. With a holiday that a lot of people have off on the following day, it'd be a way, a la the Coca-Cola 600 and the Atlanta race, to have a Sunday night race.

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Well, it certainly can't be extremely beneficial from a "getting prepared for Phoenix" perspective, but from an "attention for the sport" one, it is. And I think everyone who wins the Daytona 500 realizes that and it's a worthy tradeoff.

That said, I don't think we're going to be wondering if the media obligations affected Junior and team's performance at Phoenix at all.

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So excited about Jr’s win but it has nothing to do with that sissy punk Dillon and the 3 car. Him and his granddaddy are LIARS and trash. Shut up about them nobody gives a (blank) about them. That had nothing to do with Jr. Dillon caused 2 wrecks that night and he was at the back where he belongs. He will always be there!! He an RC are (blank). Trying to ride now on Jr’s win. Quit trying to shove him down everybody’s throat. Congrats DALE EARNHARDT JR.!!!!! - Marilyn 

Which leads us to this...

I saw a video{taken right after the 500} of one of the drivers talking angrily about Dillon causing wrecks and his path to Sprint Cup competition. Being spoon fed I believe. Who was that driver and where is that video? I haven’t seen or heard about it since that early clip. - Kent

Which leads us to this...

Can you explain the animosity for Austin Dillon? I know many people think he got his ride because of his grandfather. Okay, maybe he did. No doubt NASCAR's most popular driver no doubt started by sweeping his dady's garage for $2 an hour and had to buy his first race car and pay for all his racing expenes on his own, and being the son of Dale Earnhardt Sr. was of no help to him. Nor did Paul Menard get a ride because of his relationship to the car owner, and being the son of Richard Petty did nothing for Kyle Petty. Nope, no one else in the history of NASCAR ever benefited by being born into the right racing family. I now understand: Austin Dillon is evil because he got his ride because he's Richard Childress' grandson. Got it. - Paul

There's going to be a minority of folks who will be so pro-Earnhardt forever that they'll feel no one else can drive the No. 3. But it's Richard Childress's car and Dillon has been using the number since he entered the Camping World Truck Series. It was inevitable, and the inevitability is here.

Paul, the clip was of Kevin Harvick, when he delivered his parting shot to the Dillons and Richard Childress Racing at Martinsville before his departure at the end of the season.

Dillon has legitimate racing talent, and anyone who thinks differently is crazy. You don't win a Nationwide Series title simply because you have fast cars. So what if he didn't win a race. With the way that the Nationwide Series is currently set up, it's hard for a Nationwide regular to take the checkered flag. Plus, he's also got a Truck Series title too. He's the odds-on favorite to become the first driver to win all three NASCAR national series championships. Yes, even over Greg Biffle at this point.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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