MRO's Did You Know Newsletter
- Martin Truex, Jr. DOMINATED the Coca-Cola 600 by leading 392 of the 400 laps that made up the race. He set the record for the most miles ever led in a race (588 miles) and the shortest 600-mile race at only 3 hours and 44 minutes (166+ MPH). Once again, Truex started the season as he did in 2015 with a lot of success during the 13 races, but no wins. At Daytona, he lost by 1/100th of a second. At Texas, he led the most laps. At Kansas, he had a rare failure with a wheel stud that knocked him out of the lead. Then, at the last points race, he was behind Jimmie Johnson on the last restart when Jimmie caused the 20 car crash and took him out of the chance to gain his Chase sticker.
- After 13 of the 26 races that determine the Chase field, there are eight drivers who have won a race. Unless they fall out of the Top 30 in points or more than eight new winners of races are crowned in the next 13 races, all will be in the Chase. Toyota cars have dominated so far this season with all four of Joe Gibbs cars and Truex, having 8 of the 13 wins. Johnson (2 wins), Keselowski (2 wins) and Harvick (1 win) are the other winners. At this time, two rookies are in the Chase by points, Chase Elliott (9th in points) and Dave Blaney (15th) are also currently in the Chase. Historically, there has been only an average of three to four drivers that move into the Top 10 and are allowed to speak at the awards ceremony after Charlotte. With the new format of ‘win-and-in’ and 16 qualifiers, this gives all drivers the opportunity to reach the Top 10.
This Charlotte race was the 56th time that the ‘600’ was held on the Memorial Day weekend (the first one was scheduled for Memorial Day, but was postponed two weeks because the track was not ready). Memorial Day was chosen because of the Indy 500 and the extra 100 miles was added to be distinct from any other race in America. While the Charlotte race always honored those who died for our country, in the last 15 years the speedway has gone out of its way to demonstrate what our service men and women do each day. At various times, there have been war games in the infield with our heroes saving the day. This weekend’s pre-race ceremony was one of the best with bagpipes being played, Taps, a three gun salute and a chorus of soldiers singing the National Anthem. It was a reminder that this in fact was not Veterans Day, but a memorial to those who have died under the order of the Commander in Chief to provide and protect the freedom we have been privileged to have and enjoy. The excitement of the race turned our minds away from the seriousness of what others have done for us by giving their lives. However, their sacrifice was for us to enjoy all that America has to offer.
The DYK e-newsletter PIT NOTE is written by Ron Pegram, National Director Kidz Xtreme