By Brian D. Stanchak, The BDS Agency
One event I look forward to each year is NASCAR at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. I am always incredibly impressed by the Pocono staff’s intense detail in coordinating such a large-scale event that more so than any other sport caters to the fans, as the fan experience that is established by NASCAR and Pocono Raceway over the three days extends well beyond the asphalt of the 2.8 mile “Tricky Triangle”.
Sunday’s M&M Fan Appreciation 400 was the most anticipated race, but it was just one of the many races that Pocono Raceway hosted over the long weekend. The General Tire Delivers 200 (ARCA Menards Series Race) was on Friday, and the CRC Brakleen 150 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race) and Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 (NASCAR Xfinity Series Race) were on Saturday, with many practices and qualifying sessions in between. The weekend ended in controversy though, as the original winner Denny Hamlin became the first NASCAR race winner to be disqualified since 1960 after illegal material was identified on the car’s front fascia by NASCAR during the car’s post-race inspection. Interestingly enough, the second-place car of Kyle Busch also failed the post-race inspection and was also disqualified, which then resulted in original third-place finisher Chase Elliott being awarded the win. I was told that the reason for the disqualification is that the material on the front fascia could potentially enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
You may be thinking though, what can I possibly learn from NASCAR as a college basketball coach? Equally impressive to Pocono’s outstanding fan experience is how drivers and their teams work together to accomplish what far surpasses an individual achievement of winning a race. I am fortunate to attend the race at Pocono and document my observations each year, which I hope will enhance the exposure of such an exciting sport to those who may not currently watch and provide a guide for you to view when attending or watching a race similarly.
While the driver of the car may gain recognition, NASCAR is undoubtedly a team sport. The performance of the pit crew and strategy determined between the crew chief and driver are just as important as the driver who controls the car in determining where the car finishes the race. Like any team sport, however, multiple individuals must work together like a well-oiled machine to ultimately achieve success. Just watch the pit stop below by Kyle Larson and his team to see for yourself.
As a coach, you are responsible for bringing together a group of individuals to work collectively towards a similar goal. Working together for a common goal, no matter how large or small the role or no matter how large or small the detail, is evident in watching how a pit crew operates and a learning opportunity I hope you take advantage of yourself by attending a NASCAR race.
I’d like to thank Pocono Raceway for an amazing three days, as they always create an incredible experience for all in attendance.