(photo by Leon Hammack)
NASCAR had a long and very contentious bout with the rains this weekend and lost! The Coca Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest race of the year, was washed out on its traditional starting day of the Sunday. Not a problem, they just delayed the start of the race to Monday at noon.
So the much anticipated running of the 50th Coca Cola 600was turning into a marathon event, rather than a 600 mile NASCAR race! As the start time was approaching on Monday, the forecast was for more rain showers off and on all day long. That is exactly what happened!!
With several stops for rain showers, the last rain shower occurred on lap 222 and the yellow flag was unfurled. The 13 lead cars all ducked into the pits in preparation for the race returning to green flag racing soon. David Reutimannin the #00 Michael Waltrip Toyota was running 14th and decided to stay on the track in hopes that the rain would not let up for the remainder of the evening. After running 5 laps under the yellow flag the race was halted with David Reutimann in the lead. The rain continued to came in waves and never really allowed the track officials to get the track in racing condition.
After more than 2 hours in the final rain delay,and the race was past the halfway point, NASCAR officials called the race official at lap 227. David Reutimann and the #00 Michael Wlatrip Racing Toyota were first time winners at the Cup level! So now Reutimann’s new found nickname “The Franchise” has been fulfilled!!
Memorial Weekend is jammed packed with activities every year. It is the official start of the summer. It has the two greatest car races of the season, The Indianapolis 500 and The Coca Cola 600. But there is so much more to it than that. It is about honoring our servicemen and women! Monday NASCAR really showed respect to our military yesterday!
At just before 3pm EDT, NASCAR threw the yellow flag followed by a red flag to stop the race. The race officials decided to bring the race cars down pit lane, stop the race, shutdown the motors, and get all the crewmen lined up. By doing this the entire racetrack population stood and honored our military personnel who are serving our country. More importantly, the race fans paid their respect to those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom!
After all Memorial Day was established to pay tribute to and honor those who have allowed all of us to do, whatever it is that we do, without fear of retribution! It is all of the G.I.’s, both past and present, that are wearing and have worn “THE UNIFORM”, that are the true heroes of this country. It is this writer’s opinion that we should be eternally grateful everyday of the year for what these fine men and women do for us, not just on Memorial Day!
USAF– “We live in fame and die in flame!”
You are the true heroes!!! God bless you all!!!