500, then 600.

by Greg

A few years ago, we were with a friend from North Carolina and got to talking about racing. Charlotte is like the heart of NASCAR, and it dawned on me just how much I’ve enjoyed my memories, growing up going to Riverhead Raceway. We HAVE to go to a real, legit NASCAR race! And the bug was born!

It didn’t take long to figure out who I really liked watching. Timing was definitely a factor. Ross Chastain just pulled off a move at Martinsville that will forever be written in the history books as the “Hail Melon”, a nod to his farming roots and the Hail Mary of passes, slamming himself into the wall, riding it and forcing his way to the win. That was it. This is the guy. I really enjoy watching his career and seeing how he manages points vs. placing.

But that’s Ross… there’s really only one other guy I pay regular attention to and with much reason and cause. Kyle Larson is already a legendary driver and what he’s about to do today will surely just continue to solidify his place as one of the most successful drivers ever. As if it wasn’t enough to be a NASCAR king. His rookie year driving for Hendrick Motorsports at the Indianapolis 500, qualifying FIFTH against seasoned pros, quoted as saying, “it really isn’t all that different (from NASCAR driving).” It’s a completely different vehicle!!

And as if THAT wasn’t enough, he is planning to finish the 500-mile race today and somehow make it to Charlotte Motor Speedway ON THE SAME DAY and compete in the Coca Cola 600. There are only 4 others that have done it, and Kyle Larson will be the fifth. This guy is determined to make his mark in a big way.

It’s the holiday weekend and family comes before racing. I’m going to miss some of the racing today, but my heart is there!!

As much as I continue to learn about NASCAR, the big teams, everything about the cars and racing in general, I just discovered Indy car racing and I’m loving it. Love how the rules are different, and the competition is fierce long before the actual race begins… and I love the speed. Where NASCAR races just below the 200mph mark, Indy car teams are hitting 245mph. It is wild!

Big race weekend and if you’re around to catch it, this will surely be a historic day for racing cars.