FOX’s Darrell Waltrip Won Race Record Five Times Listening, Being Patient
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 24, 2012) – Much – almost everything – has changed since Joe Lee Johnson spent 5-1/2 hours behind the wheel of his Chevrolet en route to victory in 1960’s inaugural World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Now the Coca-Cola 600, a 600-mile, 400-lap marathon, is as much about speed as endurance.
It’s just a different kind of endurance.
Sunday’s 53rd edition of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ longest race (FOX, live, 6 p.m. EDT) isn’t your father or grandfather’s competition. The driver’s right foot will be as flat to the floor as possible from a late- afternoon green flag to the checkers that will fall under the lights. Pit crews, no matter how exhausted, will be expected to perform sub-13-second stops whether it’s lap 10 or 390.
A year ago 19 of the race’s 30 finishers completed all 400 laps – a far cry from Johnson’s four-lap margin of victory over Johnny Beauchamp. The 60-car field wa