The Coca-Cola 600 has come and gone without its usual pageantry, and it really made for possibly the dullest week of the NASCAR year so far. Without all the build up to this race, it made what is usually a drawn out affair even more drawn out. This was once again a dominating performance by Hendrick Motorsports that at this point is just beating a dead horse by letting everyone know how great they are.
Kyle Larson was the guy to beat despite his teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron attempting to slow him down. With the lack of racing throughout the field and virtually no relevant lead changes throughout the race, this was easily the worst race of the year so far. It’s sad to say that considering this is a crown jewel event.
It’s not uncommon for one guy to run first for what feels like flag to flag, but this one truly had the feeling that whoever got the spot first was going to keep it until the next restart. Through the entire field, nobody was able to truly race last night.
The PJ1 compound continues to be a massive failure and ruins the racing product that NASCAR tries to push out. At a certain point you’d think that NASCAR would realize that trying to manufacture great racing is riskier than just letting things play out to let racing happen naturally. At least when that happens fans can’t literally blame NASCAR itself for the bad outcomes.
All in all, it was still a historic night even if you were not a fan of the race itself. Watching Hendrick Motorsports become the winningest team in NASCAR history was a momentous occasion for this generation. Even if you are not a Hendrick fan, there is no denying what they’ve meant to the sport and meant to people like me that have only followed NASCAR for the last twenty years. They have been the force of this era of racing. Inevitably a new challenger will enter the ring as we continue to go full throttle into the next generation, but this was cool to see regardless of who you root for.
Hopefully this is not something that kills all the positive momentum that the season had going for it. This mixed with COTA has me worried heading into Sonoma, because while I personally always enjoy it, overall fan reception is mixed.
This was one of our few races on Fox instead of FS1, and I hate that the show put on for a national audience was so mundane. Especially after the Indy 500 was so entertaining that it raised the bar for what NASCAR had to produce.
Next week at Sonoma will hopefully put on a good finish to help rebound after a couple difficult weeks,