Truex, No. 78 Team Deserve Kudos
Pop quiz: When was the last time a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver led 588 miles in a single race? If you don’t know the answer, that’s because it’s never happened – until Martin Truex Jr. did it in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Starting from the pole in his Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Truex and his No. 78 car stunk up the show in NASCAR’s longest race by absolutely annihilating the competition with a stunning performance that even left the likes of Jeff Gordon – who was helping call FOX’s live broadcast of the race – in disbelief. Truex and his team led by second-year crew chief Cole Pearn deserve major props for not only winning, but for doing so on one of NASCAR’s biggest stages and in a fashion that literally no one expected. Extra gratifying for members of Truex’s Denver, Colorado-based team was that they whipped the competition at Charlotte, the one track in everyone else’s backyard.
600 Miles Aren’t Too Many
Despite the trend in recent years toward shorter races, NASCAR has held true to tradition with regard to its Memorial Day weekend classic and lone 600-mile race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Although it’s easy for some to suggest that 600 miles is simply too long, what’s so bad about one race each season being longer than all the rest? And if a race is going to be the longest on the calendar, why not have it be one at Charlotte – the track that’s in the proverbial backyard of almost every driver and team? While it might feel like NASCAR has changed virtually everything in recent years, a few long-held traditions have actually been maintained – and keeping the Coca-Cola 600 as the Coca-Cola 600 is one of the best ones in the sport’s history. Despite pressure to do otherwise, let’s hope it always stays this way.