Racing has returned in spectacular, masked style. After the NASCAR season was positioned on a two-month pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, the game has resumed simply in time for the Coca-Cola 600 race on Memorial Day weekend.
Followers is not going to be permitted to enter Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, nor the remainder of the week for any upcoming races, however the timing of the crown jewel occasion is not going to be modified in its 61st 12 months.
“One of my favorite lines I’ve heard this whole time is ‘Don’t let a good crisis go to waste,’” No. 22 driver Joey Logano mentioned, including that he has felt “safer at the racetrack than at the grocery store” for the game’s first two return races at Darlington Raceway.
“We had a big opportunity in front of us,” Logano mentioned concerning the sport resuming amid the pandemic. “We took it and it’s paying off right now. You look at the ratings. We’re putting on good races. We’re finding ways to race close to home so we don’t have to worry about travel.”
Certainly, drivers is not going to have to journey far this weekend to get to the Harmony-based racetrack from their Charlotte-area houses and crew garages, however as soon as the inexperienced flag waves, 40 drivers can have 600 miles forward of them within the longest race of the 12 months.
“I’ve always enjoyed the Coke 600 because, hey! There’s more racing to watch!” Logano mentioned.
In contrast to final week’s races at Darlington, the beginning order will probably be set by a qualifying spherical at 2 p.m. Sunday earlier than the race at 6 p.m. on FOX. The Observer will probably be tuning in from the monitor.
Drivers we wish to win the Coca-Cola 600
No. 19 Martin Truex Jr.
It’s robust to speak concerning the Coke 600 with out mentioning Truex Jr. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the reigning race winner and has gained three of his final six occasions on the speedway. Truex Jr. can also be coming off of a robust displaying at Darlington (10th-place end on Wednesday) and is a protected wager to complete in no less than the top-10 at Charlotte. If he posts a robust qualifying lap, his odds of a consecutive Charlotte win may very well be boosted since three of the previous six race winners have been the pole-sitters. Nevertheless, Truex Jr. mentioned it’s not about the place you begin. It’s the place you end.
“I think especially being such a long race, I don’t know that it really matters where you start,” Truex Jr mentioned. “I think there’s plenty of time, if your car is good enough, to make it through the field.”
No. 11 Denny Hamlin
Truex Jr’s JGR teammate Hamlin has already been a pressure this season, and is coming off a win at Wednesday night time’s rain-shortened race at Darlington. He and Logano are in the same place — each drivers have already gained two races this season, however haven’t but notched a Coke 600 victory. Logano gained the Bank of America 500 in 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, however Hamlin’s Toyota gear regarded stronger Wednesday. It might come right down to a battle between these two given their private motivation to show themselves on the 1.5-mile asphalt monitor.
“I definitely think that we’ve got a great chance,” Hamlin informed The Observer. “Like I said, it’s the highest priority race for me to win for my personal accomplishments.”
HOW TO WATCH NASCAR’S COCA-COLA 600
Race: Coca-Cola 600Distance: 400 laps, or 600 miles (stage breaks on Laps 100, 200, 300, 400)The place: Charlotte Motor SpeedwayWhen: 6 p.m. SundayTV: FOX (5:30 p.m. broadcast begin time)Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio2019 Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.Price mentioning: Charlotte Motor Speedway will proceed its custom of navy tributes in recognition of Memorial Day Weekend. There will probably be a pre-race navy flyover and a second of silence to honor fallen navy members on the conclusion of Stage 2. Drivers are individually honoring service members by their automobile paint schemes.Additionally this week at Charlotte: Xfinity Collection race Monday (7:30 p.m. on FS1), Truck Collection race Tuesday (eight p.m. on FS1) and Cup Collection race Wednesday (eight p.m. on FS1)COCA-COLA 600 STARTING GRID
OrderDriver Automotive No.1Kurt Busch12Jimmie Johnson483Chase Elliott94Matt Kenseth425Tyler Reddick86Austin Dillon37Joey Logano228Martin Truex Jr. 199Brad Keselowski210William Byron2411Kyle Busch1812Alex Bowman8813Denny Hamlin1114Erik Jones2015Christopher Bell9516Ty Dillon1317Ricky Stenhouse Jr.4718Ryan Newman619Chris Buescher1720Clint Bowyer1421Ross Chastain7722Kevin Harvick423Bubba Wallace4324Corey LaJoie3225John Hunter Nemechek3826Ryan Blaney1227Michael McDowell3428Cole Custer4129Ryan Preece3730Quin Houff031Grey Gaulding2732Timmy Hill6633Matt DiBenedetto2134J.J. Yeley 735Brennan Poole1536B.J. McLeod7837Daniel Suárez9638Garrett Smithley5339Joey Gase5140Aric Almirola10