Racing’s Biggest Weekend Produces Three-Time Winners
Racing’s biggest weekend of the year featured the world’s most famous race and Nascar’s longest race and the drivers taking the checkered flag in both races became three-time winners. Kasey Kahne won the Coca Cola 600 by more than five seconds over second-place Denny Hamlin for his 13th career victory. He also became the 16th Hendrick Motorsports driver to win it.
The other three Hendrick drivers also did well. Dale Earnhardt, Junior came in sixth, Jeff Gordon finished seventh and Jimmie Johnson came in 11th.
Following second-place Hamlin, it was Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle. Biffle had the dominant car early on. He led 204 of the 400 laps, but as the daylight faded into night Kahne’s car emerged as the one to beat.
Danica Patrick came in 30th for her best Sprint Cup finish. She was the first woman to drive in this race since Janet Guthrie in 1976.
Earlier in the day Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 for the third time in six years on a day that was a tribute to last year’s winner Dan Wheldon. Wheldon was killed last October in the season finale at Las Vegas and Franchitti dedicated his victory to his close friend.
Franchitti hung on for the win when Takuma Sato lost control while trying to pass on the final lap and crashed.
Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan came in second and third making it a clean-sweep for the Chip Ganassi Racing teammates. All of them close friends of Wheldon. Wheldon’s wife, Susie, joined Frachitti and his wife Ashley Judd in the backseat of the convertible for the victory celebration.
There were 35 lead changes, smashing the old record of 29 on a 91-degree day, just one short of the Indy record.