The Southern 500 Was A Tape Measure Blast

racing at Darlington

In a world where a big event seldom lives up to the hype, the Southern 500 at Darlington was blast to the deepest bleachers.

“He hit that ball right on the sweet spot of the bat……”

The Southern 500 was a driver’s race. The contenders had to race their hearts out and the pretenders just got left behind- no blind squirrel winners here. It was interesting to watch line selection throughout the race and the nose-to-tale chasing at break neck speeds. The new, low downforce package is two for two, and should be used where appropriate from this point forward for time and eternity.

“This one is going deep, deep to the heart of the park….”

Thank God the Southern 500 returned to its rightful place at it’s rightful time on the calendar. Tradition has its place in this sport. Running a Labor Day weekend race in southern California is like playing the Rose Bowl in Miami- you just don’t do that. NASCAR learned the hard way, and played the return to the hilt with all kinds of throwback themes. The coolest touch of all was Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett in the booth mid-race. For an evening, we turned back time to an era rich in NASCAR history.

“It could be…..”

A number of fans have been clamoring for tires that fall off. How many times have you seen tire inventory come into play as a matter of strategy? It certainly added to the drama.

“It might be….”

The cat and mouse chase up front was fun to watch, especially in light of the players involved. Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards have had their history. Kevin Harvick has a history with any number of contenders, and at no point did it truly appear to these eyes that ONE guy was the class of the field.

“It is……..GONE”

NASCAR racing need not be dead. With a careful management of what made NASCAR great and an eye to the future, this series can enjoy a long life ahead of it. The package was a hit, the track was a hit, and the rules package was a hit. The Southern 500 is without a doubt, the shining moment thus far of the 2015 campaign. Can it be replicated? Why not?

Restoring the forest after you’ve burned it down is no fast fix. Keep making the steps forward like this, and the best is yet to come.