The historic 50th running of the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., is finally in the history books. They don't call it NASCAR's longest race for nothing, but incessant rain made it even longer than usual.

Congratulations to David Reutimann, who brought home the win for Michael Waltrip Racing, the first victory for that organization. It was also the first NASCAR Sprint Cup series win for a Toyota other than those owned by Joe Gibbs Racing.

But at the end of NASCAR's longest weekend, fans began weighing in on Reutimann's victory, jamming Internet message boards. Was it fair? And what should NASCAR do to avoid such finishes in the future?

At NASCAR.com, the official website of the sanctioning body, the question was asked if there is a happy medium in which NASCAR could make rain delay procedures standard, and if there is, would that be welcomed by fans?

NASCAR faces a no-win situation when weather threatens an event, leaving two choices under current rules: call the event too early and face criticism that not every attempt was made to run the scheduled distance (which happened at this year's Daytona 500); or wait too long and face criticism that time was wasted when weather was set in for the night (this year's Coca-Cola 600).
So what suggestions did fans make?

"There is nothing wrong with the weather rule NASCAR has now," wrote one. "Sometimes the fastest car doesn't win.


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There are numerous old sayings that fit here. The bottom line here is that the 00 made a call that won them the race. The 18 could have rolled the dice and stayed out, too. But if they had been able to dry the track and resume racing, the 00 was dead meat."

Several suggested rain tires.

"Maybe this is why NASCAR is slipping," wrote one. "Why does NASCAR pamper its drivers? This sport was started by diehard, great drivers who had backbones. Now we have sissy boys who can't do a little rain. I can't stand when they say they are the best, yet dirt track racers, Rally and Formula 1 drivers know that rain separates the boys from the men."

But the solution that drew the most agreement was this: if NASCAR throws the yellow flag for rain, freeze the field.

Bring the cars onto pit road in the order in which they were running when the caution came out, and if the race has to be called, the driver who was leading on the track under green is declared the winner. If the race resumes, the pit strategy resumes, too. It seems fair to me.

This weekend, it's on to Dover International Speedway for the Autism Speaks 400, where the weather forecast is sunny and dry at the Monster Mile.

-- Ellen Siska writes about NASCAR for The York Dispatch. She can be reached at esiska@yorkdispatch.com. Read her blog "Pitting Outside the Box," at the Blogzone at yorkdispatch.com.