|Jimmie Johnson a co-favorite at Charlotte, but should he be? (Getty)|
The Linemakers on Sporting News
LAS VEGAS – Most people think of Daytona as the epicenter of NASCAR because of the sport evolving to national prominence there, from racing on the beach to the Daytona 500. But Charlotte is NASCAR’S true home because it’s around the area that so many NASCAR legends began their careers.
North Carolina is not only the home to NASCAR family legacies like the Pettys, Earnhardts and Jarretts, and individuals like Junior Johnson, Buck Baker, Bobby Isaac and Herb Thomas, but it’s also home to most every current NASCAR team in all major series — as well as NASCAR’s corporate headquarters.
So when races come to Charlotte, it’s a big deal — sort of a home game for drivers — and the trophy is a little more meaningful there than at other tracks.
The first step in handicapping this Sunday’s race is to look at how drivers did in previous races at Charlotte’s sister tracks in Atlanta and Texas, and, of course, in the late-May Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. All three 1.5-mile tracks are similar in banking, which has most teams using the same set-up for each. If a driver was good on one, they’ll likely be fast on the other.