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Fans Outraged After NASCAR Calls The Coca-Cola 600 After Over An Hour Of Track Drying

Christopher Bell NASCAR

Well that was anticlimactic. Seems like Mother Nature just wasn't a race fan this weekend, with the Indianapolis 500 being delayed due to storms earlier today, forcing Kyle Larson to miss the start of the Coca-Cola 600 over in the NASCAR Cup Series after attempting to run the double on Memorial Day weekend. Things started out better for NASCAR, as the Coke 600 got started on time and made it 247 laps before the rain moved into Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans, and at the time NASCAR, were optimistic that the race would get restarted though, because the rain moved through quickly and stopped after only about 45 minutes. With Larson finally at the track and ready to strap into his #5 Cup car when the race went back to green, NASCAR sent the dryers out onto the track to get things ready to go back to racing. But after over an hour of drying the track...they changed their mind. Sorry, just kidding, race is over. https://twitter.com/NASCAR/status/1794934251969794542 Christopher Bell was leading when the race was red flagged and ended up taking home the win, but it was a bizarre ending for NASCAR to get started drying the track and then just decide to call the race. Why not just call it as soon as the rain came if they knew it was going to be too late to get it restarted by the time the track was dry? NASCAR's explanation was that due to the amount of rain and humidity, they realized that it would take too long to get the Coke 600 going on, with a possible start time not until after 1:00 AM at the track. And with over 150 laps left to go, that would have the race ending at 3:00 AM - or later. But surely they knew that when they started drying the track? Well the late call from NASCAR definitely didn't sit well with race fans: https://twitter.com/RobertRiddleIN/status/1794937772085842291 https://twitter.com/ChampagneRacin/status/1794934887952310274 https://twitter.com/Christian_Racin/status/1794936735945875686 https://twitter.com/ryanpistana/status/1794935024237891816 https://twitter.com/itsmoonhead/status/1794936768997011590 https://twitter.com/BobbyWilkins352/status/1794944067186655484 https://twitter.com/bminto25/status/1794943843370258575 It didn't help that photos showed that NASCAR seemed to be making good progress on getting the track dry... https://twitter.com/MatteAyce/status/1794935439385862317 https://twitter.com/NoContextNyoom/status/1794939334287933709 And of course many people suspected that it was actually FOX that made the call to throw in the towel. https://twitter.com/SlimJimJZ/status/1794943192963662178 Regardless, it was a bizarre ending to what seemed to be shaping up to be a good race. But unfortunately, this one's now going to be remembered for other reasons...like NASCAR's strange timing and decision-making.

Tyler Childers & Chris Stapleton’s Duet Of “Follow You To Virgie” Is Country Music At Its Best

Tyler Childers Country music Chris Stapleton

What is better than seeing Chris Stapleton or Tyler Childers perform? I'll tell you what is... watching Chris Stapleton AND Tyler Childers perform together. The duo got together for what was called Kentucky Rising back in October of 2022, which was a benefit concert for those in the state of Kentucky who were affected by major flooding. Stapleton, whose hometown is Staffordsville, Kentucky, and Tyler Childers, originally from Lawrence County, Kentucky, came together with other artists from the region to help raise money for those in need. There were many duets throughout the night, but none could top the singing power of Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers together. They decided to sing one of Childers' lesser known but incredibly touching songs, "Follow You To Virgie." The decision to play the song, which plays so well for both artists, was a phenomenal choice. The pair had the crowd at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky right where they wanted them for the duration of the duet. Tell me... does country music get better than this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9x0Myp9sBE&t=70s COME ON WITH IT! Childers opens the song, and Stapleton's supporting vocals slowly turn into leading vocals during his additions in the chorus. Stapleton has the vocal ability to show up just about anyone on stage, no matter whose song they're singing, but he always carefully chooses his spots to let it rip. The visual of the spotlight hitting the two guitar-wielding country stars is almost just as good as the performance itself. Childers leads and Stapleton supports, and if you have an 8-time Grammy-winner on supporting vocals, you've got a hell of a song. I think all country music fans wouldn't mind to see Childers and Stapleton collaborate again (as soon as possible). Even a studio recording of this performance would be fine with me. And here's a look at the original, which for my money, is one of the best in Childers' expansive catalog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udNmEEfCcUM

Wisconsin Viewers Upset After NBC Station Cut To Commercial For A Community College During Thrilling Final Lap Of The Indy 500

Indy 500 NBC

Josef Newgarden made a stunning outside pass on the final lap of Sunday's Indy 500 to take the checkered flag for the second year in a row. Absolutely gutting heartbreak for runner-up Pato O'Ward, and history for Newgarden, who becomes the first back-to-back Indy 500 champ since Helio Castroneves successfully defended in 2003. It really was one of the better finishes racing fans could've asked for — making the four-hour weather delay worth it. https://twitter.com/indycaronnbc/status/1794878223743955153 Sadly for some viewers in Madison, Wisconsin, they didn't exactly get to see the sensational conclusion in real time. With a hat tip to Awful Announcing, here's the local-area footage of a jarring advertisement break during the last lap. SMASH CUT TO: A Madison Area Technical College commercial! https://twitter.com/DavidPetroff/status/1794879874991366650 No shade to Madison Area Technical College. Not their fault. It's just that, damn, talk about bad timing. You know what, though? It's actually a big plus for the school. Nobody who watched the Indy 500 in Madison, Wisconsin, will ever forget about that ad. I want to circle back in the coming months to see if enrollment spikes because of this gaffe. Just a rough look for the local NBC affiliate. What can you even say? It was bad enough that the announcer feed got cut in the midst of such an enthusiastic play-by-play call of Newgarden's epic move. That alone would've been cause for feelings of dread. But then to get totally sucked out of the spectacle of the Indy 500 to the all-too-real check-in with a local college at the most climactic moment? That really, really stings. At least they cut back to the action eventually... https://twitter.com/ZachHeilprin/status/1794878263552258413 Flipping on the mic for a boisterous, "LET'S GO!!!" is of some solace. I feel for the folks in Madison. Not only the race watchers, but the TV producers who were in charge when somebody hit the wrong button or got a little too trigger-happy with the ad break transition. Rather than blasting them, how about we not lose sight of just how great that ending was? And the incredible achievement of Josef Newgarden to win the Indy 500 twice in a row. It's the crown jewel in open-wheel racing. Even some of the best drivers feel their resumes aren't complete without cruising down Victory Lane, chugging all that milk, kissing the bricks, and so forth. https://twitter.com/IndyCaronNBC/status/1794881800323420580 https://twitter.com/IndyCaronNBC/status/1794887443810066659 PS, salute to Kyle Larson for his Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 Double Duty efforts. The veteran NASCAR driver qualified in fifth for the Indy, and wound up finishing 18th. Sounds like Larson will be in the field again for 2025 if all goes according to plan. https://twitter.com/IndyCaronNBC/status/1794891932948111689

Fans In New York City’s Central Park Went Completely Bonkers For The Rangers’ Thrilling Overtime Win In Game 3

New York Rangers

The hockey gods are smiling upon the New York Rangers, and their fans are soaking up every second of it in the Big Apple. After watching their beloved Blueshirts ring three shots off the post in Game 1's loss at Madison Square Garden, Rangers supporters have had their faith shaken as the Florida Panthers have given them all they can handle. Despite getting largely outplayed down the stretch of the past two matchups, and blowing a two-goal lead in the third period of Sunday's Game 3, a couple timely overtime goals have helped New York seize a 2-1 series lead in these Eastern Conference Finals. Although Barclay Goodrow backed up his heroic winner from Game 2 with two more goals this afternoon, it was Alex Wennberg's turn to get the job done in extra time with an outstanding deflection to secure a stunning 5-4 road victory. https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1794860275360825620 The fact that this game was in Florida didn't stop Rangers stans from gathering en masse around their massive city. By far the best watch party, though, was at Central Park. Just look at this setup: https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/1794789802677846378 Quite the spread, eh? It's almost like when you put this type of big vibe out into the universe, you're bound to reap the benefits. What a bummer scene it would've been for myriad New Yorkers striding to the subway, shoulder slumped, after a Panthers win. Instead, this is what we got: https://twitter.com/BR_OpenIce/status/1794860613417525709 https://twitter.com/_darialabazova/status/1794862433892450752 https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1794837041185796590 As if MSG wasn't electrifying enough. The Panthers really have been the better team throughout the series. More precise puck movement. Relentless forechecking. Hell, New York yielded three power play opportunities in the opening period, leading to two Florida goals. Before the previously touched on Panthers rally, the Rangers had to kill off a double-minor penalty across the end of the second and start of the third. Lots of sloppy play for the Presidents' Trophy winners, bailed out in large part by their sensational goaltender, Igor Shesterkin. Real ones know, and GOATed SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn is a real one. https://twitter.com/lindacohn/status/1794860999692210496 If the Rangers can somehow grind out another dub in the Sunshine State, they'll have the chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals at home in Game 5. Can't imagine what the city will be like if that happens. In the meantime, Shesterkin and his mates will do their utmost to create another frenzy around Gotham on Tuesday night. Hopefully it's not too much to ask: A Matt Rempe vs. Matthew Tkachuk fight. We must get it before this series ends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NZkwGJnAbs

A Brawl Broke Out In The Infield During The Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Race

Coca Cola 600 fight NASCAR

No, it wasn't Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr...this time. Last weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway it was two drivers and their teams going at it in the garage area after the NASCAR All-Star Race, when Stenhouse landed a right hook on Busch's jaw following a wreck on lap 2 of the race. https://twitter.com/Jordan_Bianchi/status/1792375477857915211?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1792375477857915211%7Ctwgr%5Eaa240ab73c0fe0e54232ace4c294533d14fed974%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.whiskeyriff.com%2F2024%2F05%2F22%2Ffans-drivers-blast-nascar-for-fining-ricky-stenhouse-jr-over-kyle-busch-punch-while-using-video-of-the-fight-in-promos%2F Stenhouse was ultimately fined $75,000 for the extracurricular activities, and promised retaliation against Busch this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 (though he ultimately changed his tune after Busch's team owner Richard Childress threatened to get involved). So far the two have raced clean (though we've still got half of the race to go at this point). But that doesn't mean there hasn't been fists flying already during the NASCAR Cup Series race. Video shows a group of fans in the infield going at it in the middle of the race, in what seems like a fight between two people that resulted in both sides jumping in to defend their guy. At one point there was a woman who was throwing things at the guys fighting trying to break it up, and even kids running in there to help out? Things seemed to get separated pretty quickly, though it one point it looked like one of the guys was ready to go back for more. Gonna take a wild guess and say there was some alcohol involved in this one...and with the 600 being NASCAR's longest race, it may not be the only fight we see - on or off the track. https://twitter.com/Christian_Racin/status/1794875819812397069  

The Indy 500 Became A Wasteland Of Passed-Out Drunk Fans Thanks In Part To A Lengthy Rain Delay

Indy 500

Other than the compelling storyline of Kyle Larson vying to pull Double Duty at the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, complicated by the former race’s four-hour weather delay, there was a whole other world unfolding in Indianapolis on Saturday. Let's just say there were many a drunken fan who didn’t quite pace themselves well enough when it came to booze consumption. A goldmine of an X/Twitter account that I have only just discovered, Indy500Pics, aggregates all the snapshots of struggle-bus spectators around Indianapolis Motor Speedway for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. This has apparently been an annual running bit for a while now, as evidenced by the pinned post of this woman from 2022: https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1530320264202010624 Just look at these poor souls who just wanted to be a hot-blooded American on Memorial Day Weekend, throw back some adult beverages, and try to remember at least some of the most prestigious open-wheel race in the world. Let’s start with a Chris Stapleton reference for the brand! https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794872507885089137 https://giphy.com/gifs/Laughtrackpv-prime-video-laugh-track-im-a-virgo-PafddjjeVkDQtfIC2F https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794867077565874398 https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794842026376335799 https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794817344184668291 https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794811854419787811 https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794810039032844544 https://twitter.com/RFun20927219/status/1794792921558028383 https://twitter.com/Indy500Pics/status/1794798107420770624 Who cares what was to happen in the actual race? There’s plenty of entertainment value right here. I know these people got inebriated on their own volition, but I still empathize with them. They paid their hard-earned money to be at the freaking Indy 500 and will now remember zero of it. Let this be a lesson for any fans of any brand of racing who want to go to the show in person: Take into account Mother Nature-induced interruptions when you’re plotting out your alcohol intake. Otherwise, this is what happens. Should be plenty more photos and perhaps videos spilling in. Congratulations to the soldiers who made it, wedging their eyes open Clockwork Orange-style and willing themselves to see at least some of the actual racing action. https://giphy.com/gifs/loop-orange-clockwork-UtkJymPFT6LyE Even bigger ups to the attendees who, as is the wise choice, waited to binge harder until the race actually began. That’s the way to go. Although yeah, a four-hour delay is pretty intense, and I guess when it comes to you staring down the stockpile of drinks before you, it’s a matter of willpower and/or boredom to overcome to resist the temptation not to just start taking those to the face. Here’s to a great Indy 500. And even though you can’t really consider the subjects of these hilarious passed-out photos “winners” in the sense that they are being publicly shamed, well, at least they’ve achieved a modicum of Twitter-based fame.

Go Behind The Scenes Of Justin Moore’s Emotional “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” Music Video

Justin Moore

Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I know everybody's busy celebrating the unofficial start of summer, but on this Memorial Day weekend it's important to stop and remember all of the heroes who are no longer with us because of the sacrifices they've made for our country. And that's just what Justin Moore did with the emotional music video for his 2018 hit "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home." If you haven't seen the powerful video, it serves as a tribute not only to our military, but to our police, firefighters and even teachers who unfortunately went to work one day and never made it back home. The video was conceived and directed by Cody Villalobos, who at the time was Justin's photographer and content creator but is now a member of Justin's management team at L3 Management. We spoke with Cody about the creative process behind the video, and also got some exclusive behind the scenes photos from filming. [caption id="attachment_485903" align="alignnone" width="1024"]A group of people playing a game Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] And according to Cody, who is a former EMT and was pursuing a career as a firefighter until he decided to move to Nashville, it was important to honor not just our military but all of the fallen heroes: "Unfortunately as we’ve been reminded, the list of brave men and women are no longer just in the military. From all first responders to now teachers. There’s a lot of honor and respect to be paid to all of those who went to work one day to serve, protect, teach or provide, and didn’t make it back home. And this song lends itself to connecting with all of those people." [caption id="attachment_485899" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] And the video manages to tie all of those groups together, people who may have different jobs but are still connected by the sacrifices they make: "I wanted to show how real and authentic these connections between these brave men and women really are. From a mother to her soldier son, soldier to his teacher wife, teacher to her students, student to his police officer father, to the brotherhood of policeman and firefighters. The connecting of these heroes from the battlefield to the classroom, is what made this script something special." Unfortunately as our  country is still reeling from yet another horror in Uvalde, Texas. But Cody said that he came up with the idea for the video while he was with Justin on the way to play a benefit concert for the Parkland school shooting back in 2018: "Back when I was on the road with Justin as his content creator, we had a long bus ride down to Parkland, Florida to play a benefit concert for the victims' families of the high school shooting. It was an emotional trip that makes you really think deeply about tragedies and their painful ripple effect. So en route to this event, it all started to hit me and fall into place. Was almost as if God just laid it out in front of me." And when he presented the idea to Justin, he was onboard from the start:
"I sent Justin a text saying I had a sick (haha I really said sick) idea for the video that I needed to tell him. The next day, I told him and he leaned back in his chair with his eyes wide open and just said 'Wow.' Then after a pause he asked 'You came up with that!? I love it!'" [caption id="attachment_485900" align="alignnone" width="1024"]A person and a dog walking in a desert Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] When it came time to film the video, they didn't call up a casting agency and get actors to play members of the military and police officers. Those are real members of the military, police, firefighters and teachers who are featured in the video, all from Cody's hometown of Yerington, Nevada. "The characters were part of what made this video special, as they were mostly made up of real life personnel in their respective careers. I think in the entire video, there were only 2 actors that weren’t in the careers shown. I think the emotion and energy that each of the characters brought to the table, shined through on the final product. It felt somber at times, but overall felt like we were there to pay respects to those who really didn’t make it back home. It felt like the whole process was an authentic moment that we just happened to be capturing. From real pyrotechnic explosions, to real firefighting gear, what you’re seeing in the video is what was happening in real life. Having real military personnel on set helped us keep it as accurate as possible, given what we had. We didn’t want families of a lost loved one to be watching it and feel like it was some cheesy Hollywood rendition of each scene. I’d say the only spot where I leaned a little “fake” was the busting of the door down in the fire scene." [caption id="attachment_485897" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] So what has the reaction to the video been from members of the groups it honors? "It was humbling to say the least. I’m sure Justin would say the same. Hearing the stories of how people connected to it, or how it got them through their tragedy, was a feeling that’s hard to explain. I even heard from a soldier that the name we used as our soldier character was the name of his fellow soldier who didn’t make it back home, and the day we released the video was related to him in some fashion. Stuff like that makes you wonder if there really was a greater power at work here with this video." [caption id="attachment_485904" align="alignnone" width="1024"]A group of soldiers walking on a desert Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] Once the video was finished, it went through several revisions with Justin's label - before ultimately coming back to the first version that Cody put together. And while the video ended up topping several charts, it never won, or was even nominated, for any awards - although that's something that doesn't really bother Cody or Justin: "Honestly, hearing the stories, reading the comments, feeling the connection and meaning it brought to people’s lives is more fulfilling than any award. I’ll take that over an award any day, and I’m sure Justin would too." [caption id="attachment_485898" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Courtesy of Cody Villalobos[/caption] And not only were they able to honor our fallen heroes with the video, but after the song was certified gold by the RIAA, Justin, Cody and his team presented those heroes who were featured in the video with gold plaques as a thank you for their help - and their service. A group of people at a concert I know too often it's easy to think of Memorial Day as another day off work or the kickoff to summer, but the only reason we're able to celebrate today is because of the sacrifices of so many heroes who go to work and sometimes never make it back home. So to "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home" - thank you, on this day and every day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHvx5D-zDfo

Donald Trump Is Watching The Coca-Cola 600 From On Top Of NASCAR Driver Austin Dillon’s Pit Box

Donald Trump NASCAR

Think he's gonna try to hop on the radio? Former President Donald Trump decided to spend part of his Memorial Day weekend taking in some NASCAR Cup Series racing, attending the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Of course 45 made quite an entrance, flying Trump Force One over the track to show off for the crowd before making his way to the track. https://twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy/status/1794829618949792193 https://twitter.com/margommartin/status/1794834184055263238 And when he got to the track, Trump was greeted by a friendly crowd as he spent some time in the garage area. https://twitter.com/margommartin/status/1794844581441487115 The former president also took some time to meet with Gold Star Families, those who have lost family members who were serving our country, on this Memorial Day weekend. https://twitter.com/margommartin/status/1794856872669016207 Then for the pre-race ceremonies, Trump took a stroll down pit lane with his friend and supporter Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing and the #3 car of Austin Dillon, along with the #8 car of Kyle Busch. https://twitter.com/margommartin/status/1794862579791306814 But ahead of the green flag, Trump had to find his seat for the race. And as it turns out, he's got a pretty good one: Sitting on the pit box of the iconic #3 car alongside Childress. https://twitter.com/Toby_Christie/status/1794855866753245191 What are the chances that he's up there telling the crew chief how to go faster? I'd say at least 50%. All I know is I'll be tuning in to Dillon's team radio, because I definitely wouldn't be surprised to hear Trump on the mic at some point.