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Ken Medlin

Motor sports needed a day like Sunday

Posted May 29, 2011
Updated May 30, 2011

It was everything you could ask for in a race – twice.

And motor sports needed it. Or, umm… them.

The “powers that be” for NASCAR and Indy racing have to be smiling after two exciting finishes captivated fans Sunday.

Rookie JR Hildebrand’s last-lap mistake cost him an Indy 500, but it gave a race that has faded in its luster a much-needed publicity boost.

Hours later Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver by far, ran out of gas in the final turn at the Coca-Cola 600, losing a chance at his first victory in 105 races.

Both were heartbreaking defeats, albeit for drivers at much different points in their careers. But moments like these draw fans in by the droves. These are “water cooler” moments, things people come up to you and ask: “Did you see that?”

People often complain of races being "boring," and at times they can be uneventful. The irony is that those are normally the races that are run cleanly. But, those are also the people sports hope to reach. Non-fans equate to untapped markets, and you can't grow without tapping into new markets.

That's why compelling dramas like those we saw on the tracks Sunday are so important. For us, it's an enjoyable spectacle - but for NASCAR and Indy racing it's good for business.

Exciting finish at Coca-Cola 600 Exciting finish at Coca-Cola 600

Motor sports giants NASCAR and Indy racing aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but they needed a boost as much as any business does these days.

They got their boosts, even at the expense of Earnhardt, Jr. and Hildebrand.

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  • rayrayjay17 May 31, 11:58 a.m.

    I WANT TO BE WATCHING WHEN SOMEONE PUTS HARDICK "THROUGH" THE WALL--NOT JUST IN IT!!

  • rayrayjay17 May 31, 11:56 a.m.

    poor Junya!!!!!!!!! Nascar tried its best to give him a win!! poor guy!!!!

    NASCAR REALLY SUCKS!!!

    AS FAR AS HARDICK IS CONCERNED!! HE MAKES ME SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VOMIT SICK!!!

  • Sauras69 May 30, 5:32 p.m.

    I hate it for Dale Jr. It has to hurt him, and his crew. Hard to believe he hasn't won in this length of time.

  • Packman24 May 30, 5:26 p.m.

    Jr.'s just not like his dad. He won't win in another 105 races either. HE SUCKS

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
CHC 4
BAL 1
Final
NYY 4
CWS 3
Final
CLE 1
HOU 5
Final
WAS 3
SFG 10
Final
PHI 5
STL 4
Final
TOR 0
TAM 8
Final
CIN 1
ATL 3
Final
BOS 3
SEA 5
Final
TEX 3
KAN 6
Final
MIN 20
DET 6
Final
MIL 3
PIT 8
Final
COL 5
MIA 13
Final
ARI 5
SDP 1
Final
OAK 5
ANA 3
Final
LOS 6
NYM 2
1:05pm Today
NYY
CWS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
TAM
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
DET
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
BAL
 
4:05pm Today
WAS
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
PIT
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
SDP
 
8:25pm Tonight
TEX
KAN
 
9:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
9:10pm Tonight
LOS
NYM
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
Final
DET 13
JAC 12
 
Final
NYJ 24
NYG 35
 
Final
GBP 31
OAK 21
 
Final
SEA 34
CHI 6
 
4:30pm Today
BUF
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
TEN
7:30pm Tonight
BAL
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:00pm Tonight
IND
NOS
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
STL
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI