Memorial Day Races


The Storylines are:

1.   The Origins of the holiday:

2.   The beginning of summer:

3.   The Indy 500:

4.   The Coca Cola 600:

5.   A “ROOKIE” kicks our butt:

Back in 1866, after the Civil War, people in several American towns started a tradition of setting aside one day a year to decorate the graves of our fallen soldiers.  That idea/tradition soon began to spread among the citizens.  Following General James Garfield’s speech at Arlington National Cemetery, in 1868, thousands of participants decorated the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the Cemetery.  Thus Decoration Day began! 

In 1919, after World War 1, Decoration Day observances were expanded to honor those who died in ALL American wars.  The name changed to Memorial Day and became an annual event.  In 1966 Waterloo, NY was designated as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.  For 100 years, the town had made Memorial Day an annual community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.  In 1971 Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

So yesterday was a day to honor those men and women who have served their country in the military.   It most importantly was a day to pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom with their lives!!!  It is those men and women’s sacrifices that protected the freedoms the we hold so near and dear as Americans.  So it is only right that we take one day out of the year to honor ” The Real Heros” in life!   

So if you come across a young man or woman in uniform, take a minute of your time and tell them “Thank You”!  You will most definitely make their day, after all they are the one paying the ultimate price!!!!!


Now to talk about the races!!!  I will give you my take on the The Indy 500.  Back in 1996 Tony George, the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and grandson of Tony Hulman, decided to separate from CART and start The Indy Racing League.  For the next 12 years the open wheel racing was split and neither CART nor IRL flourished.  Tony George was determined to “kill” CART as a sanctioning body.  Since he owned The Speedway, he could easily outlast the opposition and prevail.  In February of this year CART officially died and the two sanctioning bodies “merged” and the healing process started!!  For the first time in 12 years, the stands at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway were PACKED!!!  That is good news for auto racing as a whole!!! 

The Indy 500 was not as exciting as it has been in the past.  There were 68 yellow flag laps out of 200, so there were long periods of boredom. The storylines for that race is the storylines for every Indy 500; the endurance of a 500 mile race; can the small under-funded teams compete with the Big Three( Team Penske, Target-Ganassi, and Andretti-Green); and who gets their likeness engraved on the Borg-Warner trophy!

The answers to all of those questions were answered!  There were just a few mechanical failures, Target-Ganassi prevailed, and Scott Dixon got his likeness engraved on the Borg-Warner trophy!


The legendary H.A.”Humpy” Wheeler, president of Lowes Motor Speedway, once again had an extraordinary pre-race extravaganza!!  He is true innovator and entainer in the NASCAR world. The pre-race entertainment was as much to look forward to as was the upcoming race!!   But the blockbuster news came earlier in the week when he announced his abrupt resignation from  the Bruton Smith corporation of SMI.  Humpy was the glue that held Lowes Motor Speedway together for over 30 years.  The creators and guardians of NASCAR are slowly starting to retire and leave the sport these days.  I have just one question:  WHO’S GONNA FILL THEIR SHOES?????

The Coca Cola 600 is the longest test of men and machine in US auto racing.  It is more that just an extra 100 miles, it is test of stamina for both the driver and the engine builder!!  In the past few years it was Jimmie Johnson who had dominated these races at Lowes.  Well all that has changed!  Last weekend Kasey Kahne won the All-Star race after being voted in by the fans.  He continued on his winning ways and took the checkered flag to win the 2008 Coca Cola 600.

It was Kasey’s 8th career victory in Cup, his first victory since 10/14/06, only the 6th driver to win both the All-Star race and the Coca Cola 600 in the same year!  Kasey only lead 66 laps, which was not the most led by driver, Kyle Busch led 85 laps.  Kasey just led the most important lap, the one at the end!!!

There were 37 lead changes among 16 diferent drivers in race.  The dominate drivers were “Kylie” Busch, aka TLVW, “The World’s Greatest Driver”, aka Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr., and Kasey Kahne.

I have to take time now to congratulate the winner of this segment.  This year we have a new player in our mist.  My “80 something” year aunt decided she wanted in our fantasy league.  I thought “oh boy some easy money coming our way”!!!  Well she showed these young whiper-snappers a thing or two about what she knew about NASCAR!!!!  She stayed in the money all segment long , and on the last race of the segment she surged ahead to win the segment!! Way to go Aunt Louella!!! I might have to pay attention to her picks and see how mine are compared to hers!!!!!


1.  LOUELLA—–$50.00

2.  CAROLYN—–40.00

3.  LEON——–30.00 

It was a great and exciting segment!!  I am having fun with the web page and reading all your comments—please continue to have fun with this thing!!!!  I think that we now have all the info for this fantasy league at one place now.  I invite your comments, critiques, and BS!!!!!!!


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