It's a funny thing about the Coca-Cola 600.
In an era where many are calling for shorter races to match our shorter attention spans, many of the 500-mile races at 1.5-mile tracks have stretches where they seem to be a bit, well, uneventful.
I'm often among those in the growing chorus who believe shorter races would help the entertainment value. But for some reason, I like the Coke 600 just how it is.
I think it's because the very nature of a 600-mile race indicates a marathon. It's not going to be some three-hour event. This is a test of endurance – both of man and machine – and pushes the limits of both.
As a viewer, it's a chance to sit back and relax while the drivers do all the work. Watching the 600 is an exercise in letting the action unfold while sitting back with a cold beverage, having the sounds of friends around you while someone tends the grill nearby.
With the Memorial Day holiday the day after the race, there's no rush for the viewer to get the 600 miles over with. And to me, that's the charm of the Coca-Cola 600.