Brad Keselowski wins NASCAR’s longest 600-mile race
Brad Keselowski set a record after winning the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR’s 600-miler is set to be the lengthiest race this year but it became longer after William Byron’s spin with five laps to go setting up a two-lap shootout for the victory.
“I feel like I’ve thrown this race away a couple of times, and I thought we were going to lose it today,” Keselowski said in one interview. Keselowski lost the lead to Chase Elliot on lap 363 but he was able to get the top spot when Eliot pitted.
Keselowski started in the back of the field, worked his way to the front at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and gambled in not pitting.
“I know we’ve lost it the way Chase lost it, and that really stinks, and today we finally won it that way (by staying out),” Keselowski added.
It is the first NASCAR Cup series triumph for Keselowski this season. It is also Keselowski’s first Coca-Cola 600 victory, the first win at this event for Ford since 2002, and 31st in his career.
There are five Cup races that Keselowski considers as crown jewels: Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Southern 500, Brickyard 400, and the Bristol night race. He’s won them all but the Daytona 500.
“It’s major! It’s the Coke 600. That only leaves one major for me, the Daytona 500. We’re checking ’em off. We may not have been the fastest car today, but, whoa, did we grind this one out. The pit crew on the yellow before the last had a blazing stop to get us upfront.”
Filling the Void in sports
As the COVID-19 struck nations after nation, every sport around the world has been canceled leading to the closure of many land-based sportsbook companies. NASCAR did its best to fill the sporting void created by the novel coronavirus shutdown with its longest ever race.
The return of the race boosts the morale not only for the fans but also for many bettors around the globe. Online sportsbooks, though, continue to operate giving the fans alternatives during the crisis. Sportbook websites like 1xbet continue to offer betting events for those sports that are resuming.
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Following the cancellation, the Coca Cola 6oo was the first of four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Other races such as the Xfinity Series, truck series race, Cup drivers also returned to action.
NASCAR used the tournament to honor frontline workers and others battling the pandemic. Midway through the 400 lap race drivers pulled onto pit road and stopped for a moment of silence.
“Memorial Day is about lot more than racing but we’re able to do cool things like racing because of the freedoms provided by those willing to make those sacrifices,” Keselowski commented.
All races have been run inside an empty grandstand. Participants also observe strict social-distancing regulations.
Other major sporting events such as NBA, MLB, and NHL continue to look for ways to return the tournaments.
As of this writing, there are 6.29 million confirmed cases around the world with a 388,294 death toll. Two hundred thirteen countries are affected. The US has recorded the highest number of cases with 1.89 million people infected and over one hundred thousand death toll.