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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Coca-Cola 600 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, May 29th
SITE: Charlotte Motor Speedway (1960) -- Concord, North Carolina
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 1,980 feet (Frontstretch); 1,500 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 171,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 52nd
TELEVISION: FOX
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 6 p.m. (et)/6:16 p.m. (et) Green Flag
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kurt Busch
RUNNER-UP: Jamie McMurray
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (Finished 9th)
LAPS: 400
MILES: 600
QUALIFYING RECORD: Elliott Sadler, 2005 (193.216 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Bobby Labonte, 1995 (151.952 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,474,775 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $399,623; 2nd Place - $299,404; 3rd Place - $240,256
 
2010 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Kurt Busch26Jeff Gordon15
2Jamie McMurray277Clint Bowyer10
3Kyle Busch98Paul Menard33
4Mark Martin119Ryan Newman1
5David Reutimann610Matt Kenseth16
2010 Coca-Cola 600 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 144.966 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 4 hours, 8 minutes, 20 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.737 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 34 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 33 among 17 drivers
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (187.546 m.p.h.)
Past Coca-Cola 600 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Kurt Busch (2nd) -- Dodge -- 144.966 m.p.h.
2009 -- David Reutimann (21st) -- Toyota -- 120.899 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kasey Kahne (2nd) -- Dodge -- 135.772 m.p.h.
2007 -- Casey Mears (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 130.222 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kasey Kahne (9th) -- Dodge -- 128.840 m.p.h.
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 114.698 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 142.763 m.p.h.
2003 -- Jimmie Johnson (37th) -- Chevrolet -- 126.198 m.p.h.
2002 -- Mark Martin (25th) -- Ford -- 137.729 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Burton (18th) -- Ford -- 138.107 m.p.h.
2000 -- Matt Kenseth (21st) -- Ford -- 142.640 m.p.h.
1999 -- Jeff Burton (2nd) -- Ford -- 151.367 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 136.424 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 136.745 m.p.h.
1996 -- Dale Jarrett (15th) -- Ford -- 147.581 m.p.h.
1995 -- Bobby Labonte (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 151.952 m.p.h. (race record)
1994 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 139.445 m.p.h.
1993 -- Dale Earnhardt (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 145.504 m.p.h.
1992 -- Dale Earnhardt (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 132.980 m.p.h.
1991 -- Davey Allison (10th) -- Ford -- 138.951 m.p.h.
1990 -- Rusty Wallace (9th) -- Pontiac -- 137.650 m.p.h.
1989 -- Darrell Waltrip (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 144.077 m.p.h.
1988 -- Darrell Waltrip (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.460 m.p.h.
1987 -- Kyle Petty (7th) -- Ford -- 131.483 m.p.h.
1986 -- Dale Earnhardt (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 140.406 m.p.h.
1985 -- Darrell Waltrip (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 141.807 m.p.h.
1984 -- Bobby Allison (16th) -- Buick -- 129.233 m.p.h.
1983 -- Neil Bonnett (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 140.707 m.p.h.
1982 -- Neil Bonnett (13th) -- Ford -- 130.058 m.p.h.
1981 -- Bobby Allison (7th) -- Buick -- 129.326 m.p.h.
1980 -- Benny Parsons (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 119.265 m.p.h.
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 136.674 m.p.h.
1978 -- Darrell Waltrip (17th) -- Chevrolet -- 138.355 m.p.h.
1977 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Dodge -- 137.676 m.p.h.
1976 -- David Pearson (1st) -- Mercury -- 137.352 m.p.h.
1975 -- Richard Petty (3rd) -- Dodge -- 145.327 m.p.h.
1974 -- David Pearson (1st) -- Mercury -- 135.720 m.p.h.
1973 -- Buddy Baker (1st) -- Dodge -- 134.890 m.p.h.
1972 -- Buddy Baker (6th) -- Dodge -- 142.255 m.p.h.
1971 -- Bobby Allison (2nd) -- Mercury -- 140.422 m.p.h.
1970 -- Donnie Allison (9th) -- Ford -- 129.680 m.p.h.
1969 -- LeeRoy Yarborough (2nd) -- Mercury -- 134.361 m.p.h.
1968 -- Buddy Baker (12th) -- Dodge -- 104.207 m.p.h.
1967 -- Jim Paschal (10th) -- Plymouth -- 135.832 m.p.h.
1966 -- Marvin Panch (7th) -- Plymouth -- 135.042 m.p.h.
1965 -- Fred Lorenzen (1st) -- Ford -- 121.772 m.p.h.
1964 -- Jim Paschal (12th) -- Plymouth -- 125.772 m.p.h.
1963 -- Fred Lorenzen (2nd) -- Ford -- 132.418 m.p.h.
1962 -- Nelson Stacy (18tg) -- Ford -- 125.552 m.p.h.
1961 -- David Pearson (3rd) -- Pontiac -- 111.633 m.p.h.
1960 -- Joe Lee Johnson (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 107.735 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called World 600 (1960-85).
 
Past Coca-Cola 600 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Ryan Newman -- 9th
2009 -- Ryan Newman -- 2nd
2008 -- Kyle Busch -- 3rd
2007 -- Ryan Newman -- 39th
2006 -- Scott Riggs -- 13th
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 5th
2004 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
2003 -- Ryan Newman -- 5th
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 7th
2001 -- Ryan Newman -- 43rd
2000 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 4th
1999 -- Bobby Labonte -- 2nd
1998 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1997 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1996 -- Jeff Gordon -- 4th
1995 -- Jeff Gordon -- 33rd
1994 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1993 -- Ken Schrader -- 4th
1992 -- Bill Elliott -- 14th
1991 -- Mark Martin -- 23rd
1990 -- Ken Schrader -- 11th
1989 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 23rd
1988 -- Davey Allison -- 5th
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 23rd
1986 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 31st
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 18th
1984 -- Harry Gant -- 4th
1983 -- Buddy Baker -- 7th
1982 -- David Pearson -- 21st
1981 -- Neil Bonnett -- 29th
1980 -- Cale Yarborough -- 17th
1979 -- Neil Bonnett -- 25th
1978 -- David Pearson -- 5th
1977 -- David Pearson -- 2nd
1976 -- David Pearson -- 1st
1975 -- David Pearson -- 3rd
1974 -- David Pearson -- 1st
1973 -- Buddy Baker -- 1st
1972 -- Bobby Allison -- 2nd
1971 -- Charlie Glotzbach -- 28th
1970 -- Bobby Isaac -- 7th
1969 -- Donnie Allison -- 2nd
1968 -- Donnie Allison -- 2nd
1967 -- Cale Yarborough -- 41st
1966 -- Richard Petty -- 22nd
1965 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 1st
1964 -- Jimmy Pardue -- 24th
1963 -- Junior Johnson -- 2nd
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 9th
1961 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 5th
1960 -- Fireball Roberts -- 35th
Last Race Results
RACE: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (May 21st)
SITE: Charlotte Motor Speedway -- Concord, North Carolina
MILES: 150
LAPS: 100
WINNER: Carl Edwards
RUNNER-UP: Kyle Busch
THIRD: David Reutimann
FOURTH: Tony Stewart
FIFTH: Greg Biffle
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 24 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 127.841 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.443 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 6 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 8 among 4 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Kyle Busch 1-3; G. Biffle 4-25; Kyle Busch 26; G. Biffle 27-50;
C. Edwards 51-62; J. Johnson 63-68; C. Edwards 69-70; Kyle Busch
71-85; C. Edwards 86-100.
Coca-Cola 600 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Armed Forces
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com/Carquest
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
09Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Security Benefits
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Jeremiah Weed
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22 *Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Moen
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser/Armed Forces
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/TBA
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/Donnie Meyers RV Service
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
37Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Ford/TBA
38Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/U.S. Air Force
46J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Red Line Oil
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kingsford
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's Summer Salute
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Toyota/Green Smoke
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
60Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Toyota/Big Red
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/Key Per Systems
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/TRG Motorsports
77Scott Wimmer (Wausau, WI)Dodge/Speed Energy
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
81Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Whitney's Collision
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/NEMCO Motorsports
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
95David Starr (Houston, TX)Ford/Jordan Truck Sales
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Scotts EZ Seed
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200220032004200520062007200820092010
Kurt Busch31st15th11th43rd39th32nd16th34thWon
Jamie McMurray---25th4th21st8th19th23rd21st2nd
Kyle Busch------32nd25th38th30th3rd6th3rd
Mark MartinWon29th36th28th4th11th15th17th4th
David Reutimann------------------10thWon5th
Jeff Gordon5th8th30th30th36th41st4th14th6th
Clint Bowyer------------19th29th25th36th7th
Paul Menard------------14th---26th27th8th
Ryan Newman41st5th35th5th35th39th21st2nd9th
Matt Kenseth2nd2nd3rd37th5th12th7th10th10th
Kevin Harvick34th13th23rd14th34th21st14th41st11th
Kasey Kahne------12th26thWon23rdWon7th12th
Joey Logano---------------------9th13th
Tony Stewart6th40th9th24th42nd6th18th19th15th
Carl Edwards---------3rd3rd15th9th4th16th
Denny Hamlin------------9th9th24th11th18th
Regan Smith------------------19th---19th
Brad Keselowski------------------------20th
Dale Earnhardt Jr35th41st6th33rd11th8th5th40th22nd
Martin Truex Jr---------7th21st16th34th23rd23rd
Jeff Burton40th18th22nd22nd6th24th6th25th25th
Greg Biffle21st14th17th6th7th43rd2nd20th32nd
Jimmie Johnson7thWonWonWon2nd10th39th13th37th
Juan Pablo Montoya---------------28th30th8th38th
Brian Vickers------15th31st37th5th42nd5th---
 
Mover of the Week
David Reutimann - Started in the 18th position and finished 3rd
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Ryan Newman
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kevin Harvick) - Finished 9th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Juan Pablo Montoya) - Finished 12th
 
NOTES:
Kurt Busch followed up his all-star race victory last year by winning the Coca-Cola 600 -- NASCAR's longest race of the season, as he dominated the field. Busch led 252 of 400 laps but had to outrun a hard-charging Jamie McMurray in the final laps for the victory.

McMurray held the lead late in the race, but a crash involving Marcos Ambrose with 24 laps remaining set up the last round of pit stops during the caution. Busch exited the pits first, followed by Matt Kenseth and McMurray, while Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and pole sitter Ryan Newman remained on the track and took the top-three positions. When the race resumed with 19 laps to go, Busch quickly passed Newman, Martin and then Gordon to take the lead for good.

Busch won for the 22nd time in his Sprint Cup career, as he edged out McMurray by 0.737 of a second. After a solid start this year, Busch has failed to crack the top-10 in his last seven starts.

David Reutimann was in the right place at the right time, as he won the 2009 running of the Coca-Cola 600. After rain slowed the scheduled 600- mile event for the third time on lap 221, Reutimann and crew chief Rodney Childers gambled, as Reutimann remained on the track and inherited the lead, while the leaders came onto pit road. NASCAR halted the race on lap 227. Track officials attempted to dry the track, but persistent rain forced NASCAR to call the race, two hours after the red flag was displayed. It was the shortest 600 in the event's history. Reutimann, who led the final five laps, scored his first Sprint Cup Series victory in his 75th start. His previous career-best finish in the series was fourth, which came earlier that year at Las Vegas.

In 2008, Kasey Kahne joined the impressive list of multiple champions of this race, as he won his eighth career Sprint Cup title. Kahne, who titled here in 2006, led six times throughout the race, including the final three laps to defeat Greg Biffle by a whopping 10.203 seconds. Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon are just some of the multiple winners of this race. Pole sitter Kyle Busch finished third, while Dale Earnhardt Jr led for a race-high 76 laps and placed fifth. Kahne's victory total now stands at 11.

Casey Mears led only six laps in 2007, but it was the final half dozen, as he recorded his first Sprint Cup title. Mears started 16th on the grid, but it wasn't until lap 395 that he took control and cruised to a 9.561 seconds win over J.J. Yeley. Kurt Busch was the dominant driver of the race, leading 107 laps, but he faded to 32nd after an accident. Pole sitter Ryan Newman led the first 10 laps, but failed to finish due to engine problems, placing 39th.

The Coca-Cola 600 was first run in 1960 under the name World 600. It was billed as the "world's longest and most grueling late model stock car race." Not much has changed in the last 46 years. It's still the longest race on the circuit and certainly one of the toughest. This race has been traditionally held on Memorial Day weekend since it began in 1960.

After two lackluster finishes, Kasey Kahne dominated this race in 2006, as he posted a 2.114 seconds win over Jimmie Johnson. Kahne, who doubled later in the year at this track, led for a race-high 158 laps on seven different occasions for his fourth career Sprint Cup title. Pole sitter Scott Riggs finished 13th after leading for 90 laps. Carl Edwards took the lead on lap 360, but Kahne reclaimed the advantage on the 371st lap and finished out the race, as Edwards placed third.

To win this event, is a true test of man and machine; to win two-in-a-row is a special accomplishment. The first driver to turn the trick was Buddy Baker. He won back-to-back 600s in 1972 and '73. Baker drove Dodges to both wins, wheeling a Petty Engineering Dodge in '72 and a Harry Hyde-prepared Dodge in '73. Darrell Waltrip next scored repeat wins in '78 and '79 while driving Chevrolets for the DiGard team. Popular Neil Bonnett won the 1982 Coca-Cola 600 in a Wood Brothers Ford and came back in a RahMoc Chevrolet to win in '83. Waltrip was a repeat winner for a second time in '88 and '89 but he was then driving Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolets. Chevrolets accounted for the next two repeats with Richard Childress' driver Dale Earnhardt winning in 1992 and '93 and Jeff Gordon winning in '97 and '98 for Hendrick. Richard Petty holds the track record with 64 starts at Lowe's.

Of course, three-in-a-row is a remarkable feat. History was made in 2005 when Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win three consecutive Coca-Cola 600s. Johnson, who edged Bobby Labonte by less than a second for the title, overtook Labonte on the final lap for his 17th career Sprint Cup win. Johnson, with one win this season, now has 54 career titles. In his career at this track, Johnson has six wins with 14 top-10 finishes. Johnson's average finish at CMS is 9.8 with 10 top-five's. Johnson was the last pole sitter to capture this race (2004) and the last pole sitter to win at CMS (2009). Johnson won the 2003 Coca-Cola 600 from the 37th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.

Jeff Gordon has raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway on 36 occasions, posting eight poles, five wins, 16 top-fives and a whopping 20 top-10 finishes. His average finish pales in comparison to Johnson at 15.6.

Last week's All-Star race winner Carl Edwards will try to join a select group of champions at CMS. Only seven drivers have ever captured the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same season. Darrell Waltrip accomplished the feat in 1985, followed by Dave Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt Jr (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).

CMS has been host to 104 Sprint Cup Series races, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. There have been 13 back-to-back victories at Charlotte, including three in-a-row by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964-fall 1965). A sweep has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.

Kansas Speedway takes center stage next week for the inaugural STP 400 on June 5th.

05/24 16:49:14 ET

As of May 24, 2011, at 04:49 PM ET

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