NASCAR Race Review: The Coca Cola 600


Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The thirteenth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season is the big race of the year. The Coca Cola 600 takes place on Memorial Day Weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.

Last week was the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at this track. Kurt Busch won the million dollars for winning this non-points race. Can he complete the sweep and win this longest race?

Last week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series had their race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. And Kyle Busch won the race. He also won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday at Charlotte. Can he make this a sweep of the three Series’?

The Coca Cola 600 is the longest race of the year, racing 600 miles and 400 laps on this 1.5 mile track. Coors Light Pole qualifying took place on Thursday, with 39 Ryan Newman grabbing the pole with a speed of 187.546. The Track qualifying record was set 10/13/05 by Elliott Sadler with a speed of 193.216. Last year David Reutimann won the race by being in front when rain shortened the race. Thunder storms are predicted, but hopefully, Mother Nature will hold off until the race is completed. This race starts in the daylight, moves through twilight and ends in the dark. So there will be many adjustments all through the race to keep the cars fast through all the transitions.

09 Mike Bliss, 13 Max Papis, 32 Reed Sorenson and 26 David Stremme failed to qualify for the Coca Cola 600. Sorenson and Bliss raced in the Nationwide race on Saturday. The cast for the upcoming movie, The A-Team, were on hand on Sunday. This will be the final broadcast for FOX this year. (Hopefully, no more “Grab those straps one more time” or “Boogity, boogity, boogity”.) 36 is Johnny Sauter. 64 is Truck regular Todd Bodine. 46 is J. J. Yeley. 12 Brad Keslowski had a hard crash his second lap in qualifying and will be in a back-up car starting from the rear.

So, here we go! 39 Newman chooses the outside for the start of the race, takes off with the lead. 9 Kasey Kahne goes high to battle 2 Kurt Busch for second. 2 battles back and doesn’t let 9 by. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 20 Joey Logano. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya is flying around the outside of the track. 1 Jamie McMurray and 29 Kevin Harvick sandwich 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. and they both get by.

2 and 39 battle for the lead with 39 on top. 2 takes the lead. 00 David Reutimann battles 39 for second. 42 gets by 14 Tony Stewart for sixteenth. 48 and 11 Denny Hamlin battle for seventh, with 48 on top. 48 gets by and 11 fights back. 48 keeps the spot. 00 and 39 battle some more for second and 00 finally gets by. 24 Jeff Gordon is falling back in the field. 39 and 20 battle for third. 11 and 18 Kyle Busch battle for ninth.

The first round of Green Flag pitting starts on lap 48. 77 misses pit road and has to go back around. 20 leads when 2 pits. (It’s not clear who else led laps, as the TV crew were busy telling us what adjustments the various teams were making.) After it all, on lap 55, 2 is back in the lead.

The first caution comes out when 42 gets loose and spins into the inside wall. He heads for the garage for repairs. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog and gets back onto the lead lap. 11 stays out to lead. 2 comes out of the pits first for second. 11 chooses the inside for the restart, but 2 on the outside takes the lead. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 00 battle for third with 00 getting the spot. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 9 and 1 gets by 9. 56 and 20 battle for fifth, with 20 getting by. 18 gets into 39 to get by. 31 gets by 39. 33 Clint Bowyer gets by 56. 18 gets by 56. 56 and 31 battle, with 31 taking the position. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 39 for eleventh.

The second caution comes out when 47 Marcos Ambrose has a soft right rear tire, gets loose and spins out. Luckily he doesn’t hit anything. Everyone pits. 33 coming out of his pit stall and gets into 24. 20 has to go into the grass to avoid 24. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 48 is leading for the restart. 11 spins his tires. 18 makes it three wide up the middle for position. 48 and 2 battle for the lead, but 48 holds the position. 18 is catching 2 for second, but 18 can’t get by. 18 finally takes second from brother 2, but 2 gets back by when 18 gets loose.

20 is loose and falling back. (He doesn’t like a loose car.) 16 Greg Biffle gets by 20. 11 gets by 33 for fifth. 31 and 1 battle for seventh, with 1 getting by. 18 takes the lead during the commercial. 2 gets by 48 for second. 00 and 48 battle for third and 00 gets by. 16 slaps the wall. (He’s been trying to hit it all race.) 16 and 12 start more Green Flag pitting. 1 takes the lead. 00 and 48 battle for third. 2 is running down leader 18. 2 and 48 battle for second. 7 Robby Gordon scrapes the wall.

The third caution comes out on lap 166. 48 got loose and hit the wall. 11 trying to avoid 48, goes into the grass and gets damage. 18 gets into 47 and then 12 in the pits, stopping 12, trying to get into his pit stall. 18 was too fast exiting. 43 A. J. Allmendinger had a tire violation. Ten cars are fighting for position! Owner Chip Ganasse makes it to the track after his driver Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500.  1 is his driver in this race. 7 gets into the wall again. 33 and 00 gets by 16. He is overheating with trash on the grill.

The fourth caution comes out for debris. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 48 and 18 are saved by the caution. 11 Denny Hamlin gets his lap back. 33 beats 2 out of the pits and chooses the outside. 2 takes the lead. 98 Paul Menard and 16 battle for fifth with 29 Kevin Harvick right behind. 6 David Ragan and 24 battle for ninth with 24 taking the spot. 29 and 16 battle with 29 getting by. 9 battles 31 and 31 gets by. 16 and 17 Matt Kenseth battle for seventh with 17 getting by. 88 is overheating and pits. There is much trash on the grill.

5 Mark Martin gets by 6 for thirteenth. 24 and 16 battle for eighth but 24 can’t get by. 24 gets by 16. 39 says his car won’t turn. And there is another round of Green Flag pitting. 2 tries to put 48 a lap down and 00 leads. 77 was too fast entering the pits. 17 leads.

The fifth caution comes out when 48 gets loose and crashes into the inside wall. 2 takes the lead from 17. 29 and 18 battle with 29 getting by. 1 gets by 33 for third. 88 goes high past 20 and 43. 1 finally gets by 17 for second. 29 makes a pit stop. 9 is off the pace when he gets real loose. 2 has trash on the grill and 1 gets by for the lead.

The sixth caution comes out when 7 pounds the wall. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets back onto the lead lap. 29 gets the wave around, as he has just pitted. 48 comes back out onto the track after repairs! 1 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 2 takes the lead. The seventh caution comes out when 16 shoots up into the wall. The top ten stay out. 2 chooses the outside and takes off. 17 gets by 1 for second. 18 gets by 24. 31 gets by 20 for eighth. 31 gets by 33 for seventh and 24 for sixth. 33 gets by 24 for seventh. 1 and 17 battle for second with 1 taking the spot. 17 has trash on his grill. 31 gets by 18 for fifth. (31 is really moving up the track.) 31 gets by 17 for fourth. 00 gets by 18 for fifth.

1 takes the lead during the commercial. 17 is running hot and pits to start Green Flag pitting again. 00 narrowly misses 99 getting in. 14 leads as does 6. 88 leads when 6 pits, and leads ten laps, hoping for a caution to keep him in position. 88 finally pits and 1 is back into the lead.

The eighth caution comes out with 24 to go. 47 gets loose and into the wall. He can’t catch it and gets into the inside wall. 12 was too fast entering. 18 gets into his own crewman exiting his pit and almost runs over the air gun hose. 24, 5 and 39 stay out. At the restart, 18 makes it three wide with 33 and 31 and gets into 31. 31 gets a flat and has to pit. 2 and 1 are back in the lead. 18 and 5 get by 24. 29 and 17 get together. 5 gets by 24. 00 gets by 24. 29 and 20 battle, with 29 getting by.

And 2 Kurt Busch wins the Coca Cola 600 after winning the Sprint All-Star race here last week. There were seventeen different leaders.  Jeff Burton has words with Kyle Busch after the race. Kyle is aggressive, which is fine with Jeff until Kyle gets into him while being too aggressive. Kyle was trying to make the track sweep, but didn’t do it.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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One Response to “NASCAR Race Review: The Coca Cola 600”

  1. RCR racing Says:

    Busch ruined Burton’s chances of getting into top 5 in this one. However post Coca Cola 600, the RCR racing team is still in the top slots and will definitely try to edge upwards in the next one.

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