Rain changed the dynamics of two iconic races on the same day on Sunday, February 15th. The Daytona 500 was cut short in Florida while on the other coast, rain dampened the day for the international cyclists riding the Tour of California. Now, fast forward one week to Sunday, February 22nd. These same sports practically come face to face as the drivers and cyclists find themselves within 200 miles of each other.
On the surface, 200 miles seems like a fair distance. However, when you consider the attention these two events are getting it is nothing but an inch on a Rand-McNally. The Auto Club 500 may be the largest attention grabber within our own borders of the U.S.A. but the international attention on the Tour is likely much greater. NASCAR is, after all, an American invention. Cycling in some countries is bigger than football. Our football, anyway. Their football is soccer and makes ours look like a little league outing.
However, think of the similarities between professional cycling and NASCAR. Sponsors, speed, drafting, teams, strategy, endurance and luck play heavy in both. Big name stars highlight both sports. Who doesn’t know that Jeff Gordon drives and Lance Armstrong rides? Crashes are common in both. Tempers come into play. At the end of the day there is a finish line and glory. Definatelycommon to both.
This Sunday, you can expand your horizons and check out both of these spectacles with TV coverage of both. From 2pm to 5pm, watch the final stage of the Tour of California on the VERSUS network. Look for the similarities. Be carefull, you might get hooked and by the time the Tour de France comes around you may find yourself cheering for two wheels. At 5pm, flip to FOX and see the entire Auto Club 500. Two races from two different disciplines on one day from practically the same place. How can you go wrong?