NASCAR is back! On Sunday, the 61st Coca Cola 600 went down at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race is the first major live sporting event since the COVID-19 pandemic ground the country to a screeching halt in March. The Charlotte Motor Speedway has 14,000 seats – all were empty for Sunday’s race due to continued restrictions caused by the pandemic. In addition to the empty stands, the parking lots adjacent to the track that are usually jam packed with tailgaters and vendors sat quiet and empty. The normally boisterous garage sat subdued, but it was business as usual for the drivers once the flag dropped.
Brad Keselowski ended his 30-race drought with a win in dramatic fashion over Chase Elliott. Jimmie Johnson was originally the second-place finisher but he was disqualified after his car failed rear-end alignment in the OSS station during a post-race inspection. Elliott was leading with three laps to go before there was a caution due to a William Byron spinout. After pitting under caution, Elliott restarted in the 11th position. Keselowski restarted in the first position with Johnson in second.
“I feel like I’ve thrown this race away a handful of times,” Keselowski told Fox. “I thought we were going to lose it today. I know we’ve lost it the way Chase lost it and that really stinks, and today we finally won it that way and I’m so happy for my team. I wish my wife was here, I wish my daughters were here. It’s a major! It’s the Coke 600. That leaves one major for me, the Daytona 500. We’re checking them off.”
The win was Keselowski’s first in thirty races and the first win by a Ford in the Coca-Cola 600 in eighteen years. The top five finishers were Keselowski, Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick. There is more NASCAR action on the way; the Alsco Uniforms 500 will be held on Wednesday, May 27.Tags: Brad Keselowski, Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR