Wednesday, May 21, 2008

600 miles is a long race...

And I must emphasize the word long.

I don't know what exactly Bruton Smith was thinking when he decided that the May race at his racetrack would be 600 miles long, or 400 laps whichever way you prefer to think about it. It will take over four and a half hours to run that race Sunday night. This will be my first Coca-Cola 600, and really my first point paying Sprint Cup race at Charlotte, so I really am looking forward to it.

But think about it... 600 miles. 400 laps. 4 and a half hours.

There's a lot you can do in that amount of time.

You could learn to speak some foreign language. You could practice derivatives for Calculus. Or you could write a 12-page history paper that your professor determines as elementary information that could have been gotten out of a child's encyclopedia (I'm still mad about that by the way.)

But I digress. 600 miles is still a long way.

This is the kind of race where strategy really can come into play and actually make for something entertaining to follow along with as the race plays out. If you get behind early, there is still a chance to make up for it late.

The teams will be making somewhere between 10-15 pitstops depending on how cautions go. That's 10-15 potential mistakes per pit crew member. But, it also gives time to work on a car's handling and actually get better... or in some cases get dramatically worse.

This is the kind of race I enjoy. Charlotte is a high-banked oval, set in the Carolinas, that usually produces great racing. Now that being said, the new car could (although I really hope not) take away some of the exciting and breathtaking racing that Charlotte is traditionally known for.

So as the 500 mile race from Indianapolis (those sissies) concludes, you better be ready to go. They start racing at 5:45 in Charlotte and won't be done until well after 10 o'clock.

Of course once the 600 miles is done it's time to start the race out of the parking lot. I need to get alot better at being patient through that particular race. But that is another story.

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