A day full of racing should conclude with Nascar’s longest race of the year, the Coke 600. And for the first-time ever, the race will be run with four stages—not three like usual so far this season. As a result, more points are given out (relative to the contemporary point system) for this race than any in Nascar history, making the eventual victorious driver’s win the most-important in the history of the sport.
“This is the biggest moment of my life”, said Martin Truex Jr. upon exiting his car for the current rain delay. “We all know that Nascar isn’t about beating the best of the best, or winning on Sunday with what you brought—its about earning season-long points and stage-based bonus points in order to have better positioning in the final ten playoff races. That’s why we do what we do, and that’s why this would be such an important win—THE most-important win in history, bar-none.”
While the Coke 600 has often been considered one of the sport’s “crown-jewel” events given its prestige and unique length, the addition of a fourth stage, and the attendant bonus points, immediately elevated the race above such historic races as the 1979 Daytona 500, the inaugural Brickyard 400, and numerous championship duels held at Atlanta, Homestead, and Riverside.
“Wrecking so early in this race is the greatest disappointment in my career, and probably in my life”, driver Chase Elliott said after exiting his destroyed race car early in the incredibly-important proceedings. “I know that those other 37 drivers out there will be giving it their all, and why wouldn’t they? There’s even more bonus points than usual at stake today. These are the kinds of things that can make or break whether or not a driver has enough bonus points at Homestead to be really nervous, or just moderately nervous.”
Track owner Bruton Smith was his usual modest self when talking about the mighty importance of the signature race at his signature track, saying, “I suggested stages years ago! I invented stage racing! And stock car racing! And idiot employees standing around giving fans the wrong directions!”
Nascar chairman Brian France was said to be so impressed with the reaction to the mega-importance of the race that he will be instituting five stages per Cup race beginning next weekend at Dover.