NASCAR Picks for Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Fresh off what I thought was an entertaining All-Star Race, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stays a Charlotte Motor Speedway for the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600. The marathon-style, 400-lap event at the mile-and-a-half oval is considered one of the crown jewels of the sport, ranking alongside races like the Brickyard 400 and Southern 500 in terms of prestige.
On paper, the extra 100 miles of racing doesn't seem like much, and there have been times where the added laps have had little impact on the outcome. On the flip side, there have also been plenty of example where that final 100 miles changes everything. From equipment failures to pit strategy and self-inflicted mistakes, a night's worth of hard work can be undone in a heartbeat.
Not surprisingly, the length of the race also leads to a bit of a higher attrition rate among the drivers. You also need to remember that as the track transitions from evening to night, the changing temperatures can cause some cars to come to life and some to start to fade.
Keeping both factors in mind, this is one of the few races at a 1.5-mile track where I'm willing to go out on a limb a bit with my fantasy picks. I am also more willing to chase place differential points if a decent driver starts deeper in the field. Between the drivers dropping out and the track constantly changing, there's a good chance that a few drivers who seem like afterthoughts when the green flag waves will be towards the front by the time the checkered flag flies.
Kyle Busch, #18 M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing
Martin Truex, Jr., #19 Bass Pro Shops, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kevin Harvick, #4 Jimmy Johns/Busch Beer, Stewart-Haas Racing
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite/Discount Tires, Team Penske
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kurt Busch, #1 Monster Energy, Chip Ganassi Racing
Chase Elliott, #9 NAPA Auto Parts, Hendrick Motorsports
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske
Kyle Larson, #42 CreditOne, Chip Ganassi Racing
Erik Jones, #20 DeWalt, Joe Gibbs Racing
Alex Bowman, #88 Nationwide Insurance, Hendrick Motorsports
Aric Almirola, #10 Smithfield Foods, Stewart-Haas Racing
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