- 04/17/2011, 09:05PM ET
Outlaw... said 04/17, 09:05 PM
Note- This is the race itself, not the circumstances surrounding the race, which is why I'm not taking Homestead-Miami.
There are three races that I was debating about. The Southern 500 at Darlington, the night race at Bristol, and the Coke 600 at Charlotte.
At the end I decided to take the Coke 600.
First off, this is the longest NASCAR race of the season. The equipent and stamina of the drivers is put to the test here.
Second the Coke 600 takes place on the same day as the Indianapolis 500. Many drivers race in both races, which is quite a feat considering the drivers hat pull double duty race 1100 miles that day and have to fly from Indy to Charlotte immediately following the Indy 500.
There is a lot of history involved in the 600. NASCAR has been doing the race since 1959. So many NASCAR greats have made names for themselves at the 600.
From the Alabama Gang's domination in the 70's and 80's to Kasey Kahne getting Dodge it's first win at Charlotte since Richard Petty in 77, the Coke 600 is full of history.
Good luck Rude
Rudedog: Thankful said 04/17, 09:31 PM
You mentioned the track I'm selecting, but not directly.
I'm going with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Much like your selection, mine has a ton of history. IMS is the most historic speedway in all of motorsports. It's like that mainly because of the 500, but it's still a historic track. And because the racers on NASCAR don't get a chance to race in the 500, it leaves the 400 as the biggest race of the year for them.
The Charlotte race is the longest race, but I don't think it's the biggest. In comparison to the Brickyard and their 400,000 person capacity, which is far and away the biggest capacity of any track on the schedule. It's also the 3rd longest track and one of the most unique on the schedule. The rectangle shape is like nothing else.
A mixture of the crazy amount of fans and the history of the track and I don't think there's any other choice than Brickyard. Charlotte might be the longest and the most difficult to win, but Brickyard is the most fulfilling and one the drivers want more than the 600.
Best of luck to you too big man
Outlaw... said 04/18, 09:40 AM
The Brickyard might be ran at a more famous track, but in terms of NASCAR history, they have only been racing there since 1994, and forever will be overshadowed by the Indianapolis 500.
Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte is one of NASCAR's oldest tracks. And the 600 is the longest race of the year, so the 600 is much more of a test on the driver's endurance and puts a much bigger strain on the car's mechanics.
Not only that, the Coke 600 is NASCAR's only Sunday night race of the year. Most people have the following Monday off work due to a holiday, and for many school districts, is the first weekend of summer break.
I like the Brickyard, but in NASCAR greatness you have to think, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and many other greats never raced there.
The 600 is only surpassed by the Daytona 500. What more could a race fan want? Watch Tony Stewart compete in the Indy 500 that day, and watch him run the Coke 600 that night.
The Brickyard was made famous by Indy cars.
Charlotte has always been a NASCAR track.
Not only that, it is the home track of many NASCAR drivers, and where most teams have their shops and headquarters.
Rudedog: Thankful said 04/19, 01:42 AM
You're not getting why Brickyard is so big. The track itself is a historic track and even you admitted that. When it comes to tracks, no track in all of motorsports is as historic as Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They've been racing there since 1911.
For the NASCAR athletes, a large majority of them never will get the chance to race in the 500. Because of that, it makes the Brickyard the best they got. The history of the track makes this race such a big race for them.
It may not have had the star power for NASCAR in the past, but the likes of AJ Foyt, The Unsers, and more. That's a ton of history.
The race itself may not be historical, but that's not what I'm arguing here. It's the track that's historic. Outside of Daytona, I don't know a more historical track. Charlotte may be a big race, but I couldn't even tell you when it is. I do know that the Brickyard is always the first Sunday in August (or last Sunday in July on random years).
Regardless, it leaves a bigger impact on the drivers. Kissing the bricks after a win is the best post-race tradition in NASCAR. People remember winning at IMS more than Charlotte
Outlaw... said 04/19, 08:27 PM
You have to realize that most NASCAR fans do not follow the Indy car series. To many of them, the names you mentioned don't mean near as much as Petty, Pearson and Allison.
Yeah, many NASCAR drivers don't get to race the Indy 500, but several of them do. The track might have a lot of history, but it doesn't have much NASCAR history.
It might be a rectangle, while Charlotte is the standard trioval track, but in terms of NASCAR history and prestigue, Lowes Motor Speedway is much more sacred ground for NSCAR drivers and fan.
The Coke 600 is always the night before Memorial Day, the same dayas the Indianapolis 500 if that makes it easier to remember.
Not only is the Coke 600 the longest NASCAR race, it is the longest annual event of a paved oval in the world.
Factor everything in with the fact that Charlotte is the home base for most NASCAR teams, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is in Charlotte, and orth Carolina has more NASCAR history than just about any state, and the Coke 600 has much more NASCAR significance than the Brickyard.
Rudedog: Thankful said 04/20, 02:09 PM
most NASCAR fans do not follow the Indy car series
That's not something that necessarily matters here. The drivers know the history of racing at Indy. And that's what matters here. The most important race to them outside of the 500 has to be the Brickyard.
How many other tracks have a post-game ceremony like kissing the bricks? No other track is like Indy. The rectangle shape is one of the most unique shaped non-road courses they race on. There's no banking, yet it's 2.5 miles long. And you have far and away more people than any other race track will hold, because of the way it's laid out.
In the end, the Coke 600 is a great race and probably 3rd on my list, but I just don't see an argument that would put it ahead of Indy. Indy is so special to so many racers. All the NASCAR fans may not realize the history of it, but the drivers sure do.
Fast forward to about 1:10
The great Bill Elliot called this the greatest win of his life. Youtube more of the victory lane interviews and you'll get the same response. Indy just means more.
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