NASCAR Recap: Southern 500

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/ToyotaRacing

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/ToyotaRacing

Talk about making the most of a moment.

NASCAR had the national spotlight on a Sunday night in September and knocked it out of the park. Here’s a look at winners and losers in this NASCAR recap of Sunday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Win: NASCAR

Team France finally found a way to give fans, teams and driver a mix of what everyone wants. Pit strategy mattered. Tires matterd. Downforce mattered. The result created different teams with different speeds and the ability to pass every lap. Cautions helped, but they weren’t required to create an exciting race for 500 miles. With two kids under six, it’s easy for me to miss part of a race; Sunday night you actually felt like you lost out missing 20 minutes of action while reading.

Who knows if NASCAR can replicate the package for the rest of the 2015 Sprint Cup season , but there’s a path to more competitive racing with two solid sample sizes at Darlington and Kentucky.

Oh yeah, the retro schemes were awesome.

Lose: Richmond International Raceway

Richmond hosts the final race before the Chase. Normally, there is palatable drama over the final few spots. Not so much this year. If any Sprint Cup driver was going to buck the trend and win a race, it was at Darlington with all the different strategies in place. Chances are the Chase field you see is the Chase field you get. And while all of those drivers can pretty much go for broke this weekend, it may not be as intense as in recent years.

Draw: Brad Keselowksi

On one hand, Keselowski led the most laps and finished second. He has all the experience in the world to win the 2015 Sprint Cup.

On the other hand, how many races has Keselowski arguably had the best car and not taken it into Victory Lane? Chances are, the 2015 Sprint Cup champion will win Homestead. I wouldn’t be floored if Keselowski raced at Miami with meaning; taking that final spot means closing. Keselowski has done it before; can he do it again?

That’s one of many subplots entering the final regular season race of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. Enjoy night racing at Richmond, and insert a random catchphrase here.