Published November 20, 2014
You know folks, we all saw history made this past weekend in the Coca-Cola 600. I saw a man and his organization do something I think is totally amazing. Back in February, Chip Ganassi's car won the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 with Jamie McMurray behind the wheel. Last Sunday, Ganassi's team won the 94th Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti.
To me, that would be like winning the World Series and the Super Bowl in the same year. Ganassi joins Roger Penske as the only other owner to win both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Chip is in the record books, though, as the only car owner to have done it in the same year. What a great accomplishment.
I probably was doing a little cheerleading Sunday night for Jamie McMurray. How cool would it have been for Chip's teams to win Daytona, Indy and the Coke 600? Chip and his team had a shot at it, so that would have been really cool if they could have pulled that off since that has never been done either.
How ironic that Chip's IndyCar competitor, Roger Penske, had the car that won the 600? Kurt Busch, who won the 600, said he looked in the mirror and saw Jamie in that No. 1 car coming and he knew he couldn't let the boss down. Kurt certainly gave it everything he had in those last 20 laps to hold off Jamie.
Man, what a two-week span Kurt's team has had in Charlotte, huh? He wins the All-Star Race and then comes back a week later and wins our longest race of the year. Winning both in the same year has only been done a few times and it really puts you in an elite class. If Kurt can go on and win the 2010 championship, he will join only three others who have ever done that in NASCAR history in a single year.
What a difference crew chief Steve Addington has made in that organization. I have always been a big Steve fan. I have been so impressed with the job he has done. Not only has he helped their Cup program, but I think you are seeing his impact on their Nationwide cars as well.
So you had two world-class owners going head to head at two different tracks, in two marquee races and ironically both on the same day. The other name that needs to be added to that mix is Joe Gibbs. It's pretty amazing when you stop and think about what those three guys have accomplished in other sports outside of NASCAR. For them to come over to NASCAR and be equally successful is a testament to all three of them.
To take that a step further, when you add Richard Childress, Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick and others onto that list, its pretty impressive the caliber of car owners our sport features. These guys are all organizers and, more importantly, leaders. They know how to win and they expect to win. Our world-class car owners certainly have proven over the years how to field a winning team.
Going back to the Indy 500 for a second, I was so happy to see my neighbor, Dario Franchitti, win Sunday. I run into Dario here in Franklin and I just have to tell you that he is one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life. He's one of those guys you might say is too nice to drive a race car.
Obviously though, when he puts that helmet on and gets behind the wheel of an IndyCar, he takes it to a whole other level. The dominance of his car, leading 155 laps at Indy, was something I hadn't seen there in a long, long time. He and his wife, Ashley Judd, are just really good folks and I couldn't be happier for them.
So everybody in NASCAR heads to Pocono Raceway this weekend after two hectic weeks in Charlotte. I don't know when I had been to Charlotte over those two weeks and did more, had more fun and felt as gratified as I did. In addition to the Hall of Fame activities, we just had some incredible racing for two weeks in the Truck, Nationwide and Cup series there.
You heard me say it Sunday in the broadcast, but I will say it again here, I am sad that our 10th year of NASCAR on FOX has come to a close. I am proud of the work our whole team has done. We really love what we do and we tried to bring that passion to the broadcasts.
Now we do a lot of coverage from Friday to Sunday. Everything from practice, qualifying, Trackside, pre-race shows and right on up to the race itself. Our coverage is split between the Speed Channel and FOX. Obviously Speed is a cable TV where FOX is network TV. Our goal has always been to educate and inform the viewer whether he is that guy or gal that has watched every show since Friday or just the casual fan that only tunes in on Sunday.
This year like no other, we have had great racing to talk about. I said it back in Daytona that there was a sense before the first green flag waved that this was going to be a special year. The rule changes NASCAR made have really made for some awesome racing and compelling storylines.
You can continue to follow me on Twitter plus right here on AllWaltrip.com. Jeff, Larry and I will be continuing our weekly 3 Wide internet show seen on FOXSports.com. In addition to that, I have agreed to work a handful of races for Speed in the coming months. We have added Michigan, Sonoma, Daytona and Chicago to my schedule so far and I am really looking forward to getting back to those tracks.