Austin Dillon FINALLY got his first win. The win came from the seasons longest race of the year which was the Coke 600. Memorial Day weekend is like the Christmas Day of Motorsports with Monaco, Indy and NASCAR all the same day. Aside from Takuma Sato getting his first time Indy 500 win, Dillon got the win from the longest race in NASCAR. Which is what makes the weekend so special for racing. But it also makes me think that we have these special events such as the 600 like Indy 500. What I think makes the 600 special and an event that keeps on giving is the tribute to the troops. NASCAR and Fox did a terrific job prompt all the names of fallen soldiers on TV and on the top of the car windshields. As with the Indy 500 they always draw that sellout crowd that never ceases to amaze me. Then I ask "how do they do it?" Indy has a much shorter season March to September compared to NASCAR's February to November stretch. Maybe that's what NASCAR needs to gain future fan base. A shorter season would mean less sponsor money, but wouldn't be that huge of an impact. Spreading out races would give fans a break to appreciate one event to the next. I'm not saying I have the knowledge that the sport could compete with the Indy 500, but Indy Car does have a different structure that draws a sell out crowd to a track that fans of NASCAR agonize going to and watching once a year. NASCAR does a lot to implant all these changes and to be like other sports. In the end it's comparing apples to oranges. 101 years of the Indy 500 is a feat way too high to reach at this point in the economic sports climate, but I think it can be somewhat reached.
All photos used with permission by Nascar Media.