|Jimmie Johnson becoming best ever at Charlotte Motor speedway.|
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Coca-Cola 600
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, May 28
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: FOX, 5:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 600 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 100), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 200), Stage 3 (Ends on lap 300), Final Stage (Ends on lap 400)
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Next Race: Hisense 4K TV 300
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 27
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Bar Harbor 200 presented by Sea Watch International
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Friday, June 2
The Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 5 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)
Busch Breaks Through At Charlotte With All-Star Win, Eyes Sweep In Coca-Cola 600Kyle Busch finally notched his first Charlotte Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win by speeding to victory in the final stage of the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.
He’ll go for his first points-paying win at the 1.5-mile track and a sweep of the Charlotte May race weekends in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET on FOX).
Seven drivers have won both the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).
It’s surprising Busch never won a Cup race at Charlotte until last Saturday. In his career, he boasts track records with eight NASCAR XFINITY Series wins and seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories.
He’s performed well in the Queen City in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but just hadn’t won. In points-paying Cup races at Charlotte, Busch owns 10 top fives and 15 top 10s in 26 starts. The No. 18 Toyota driver ranks second in Charlotte driver rating (104.8) and average running position (9.9).
Fourth Stage Implemented For Coca-Cola 600
Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will feature a fourth stage. Each stage will last 100 laps. Stage 1 will end on Lap 100, Stage 2 on Lap 200, Stage 3 on Lap 300 and Stage 4 on Lap 400.
“The stage racing format is delivering more dramatic moments over an entire race, fueling tremendous racing action this season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “With a fourth stage added to the Coca-Cola 600, the historic event will have another layer of strategy for teams, and even more excitement within the race for fans.”
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Marcus Smith offered similar commentary.
"For 58 years, the Coca-Cola 600 has been a crown jewel on the NASCAR circuit because it presents unique challenges that don't exist in any other race. The distance is greater. The test of endurance is greater. The challenge of adjusting to the track surface from hot to cool puts more pressure on crew chiefs and pit crews," he said. "It's only fitting that teams have an opportunity to be rewarded for the extra effort required to win at the 600. An additional stage win and that extra playoff point in May could be critical for playoff success in the fall."
Truex Ready To Follow Up Last Year’s Record-Setting Performance
Martin Truex Jr. rewrote the record books with his dominant performance on his way to the checkered flag in last year’s Coca-Cola 600.
The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing driver’s 588 miles led in a single race were the most in NASCAR history, besting Jim Paschal’s 502.5 miles led in the 1967 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Truex’s 392 laps led were the most in Charlotte Motor Speedway history. Paschal owned the previous-high mark of 335 laps led (also in the 1967 World 600).
He also recorded the 17th perfect driver rating (150.0) – and first at Charlotte – since the inception of NASCAR loop data in 2005.
Truex tops the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in numerous statistical categories, including: wins (tied for first with 2), stage wins (5), playoff points (15), driver rating (110.8), laps in the top 15 (3,161, 90.3%) and laps led (536). He is second in total points (44 behind leader Kyle Larson), average running position (7.8) and fastest laps run (314).
In 23 Charlotte starts, Truex has one win, three top fives, seven top 10s and a 16.2 average finish.
Queen City King: Johnson Looks To Add To Wins Record
Jimmie Johnson will attempt to extend his track record with a ninth win at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
The No. 48 Chevrolet driver took the checkered flag in the latest points-paying race at Charlotte last October on his way to his record-tying seventh Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Johnson has won the Coca-Cola 600 four times (2014, 2003-05).
In 31 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Johnson also claims 15 top fives 19 top 10s and a 12.6 average finish. The Californian leads the series in Charlotte driver rating (110.6) and average running position (8.1).
A win on Sunday would tie Johnson with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list with 83 victories.
Right now, Johnson sits eighth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings (152 markers behind leader Kyle Larson). He is tied with Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. for the wins lead with two.
Larson Looks To Extend Points Lead
Kyle Larson will look to continue to pad his lead in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He currently holds a 44-point advantage over second-place Martin Truex Jr. Brad Keselowski (67 points behind Larson) sits third, followed by Chase Elliott (-114) and Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray (-121).
Larson has built his lead on the strength of one win, five top fives, seven top 10s and a series-leading 6.9 average finish. He has four runner-ups this season, including a string of three straight the second through fourth races.
In seven career starts at Charlotte, Larson owns one top-five finish and two top-10 showings. His career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track was a fifth-place showing in last year’s fall race.
Blaney Gets Another Crack At An Intermediate Track
Ryan Blaney gets another chance to wheel his No. 21 Ford to victory at a 1.5-mile track in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 23-year-old Wood Brothers Racing driver has performed well in his last two races at 1.5-mile tracks. He finished fourth at Kansas after winning Stage 2 and leading 83 laps. At Texas, he led a race-high 148 laps and won the contest’s first two stages.
Blaney is 11th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 184 markers behind Kyle Larson. He has three playoff points via his three stage wins.
NASCAR joins IndyCar in support of John Andretti
NASCAR will join IndyCar in honoring former driver John Andretti this weekend, with its race cars carrying a decal emblazoned with the hashtag #checkit4andretti. In 1994, Andretti was the first driver to run the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double.
Earlier this year, Andretti announced that he is battling stage four colon cancer.
Andretti won two races during a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career that spanned 393 starts. His victories came at two of NASCAR most iconic tracks, Daytona International Speedway (July of 1997) and Martinsville Speedway (April of 1999).
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola: Honoring and Remembering the U.S. Armed Forces – During the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR will have its “600 Miles of Remembrance.” The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will feature the names of fallen servicemen and women on windshield headers for the third consecutive year. This Memorial Day weekend, NASCAR also will host over 5,000 active military members as NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola program kicks off its traditional summer industry-wide effort to honor and host members of the military over six race weekends.
Channing Tatum To Serve As Coca-Cola 600 Grand Marshal – Actor Channing Tatum will serve as the grand marshal for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming movie “Logan Lucky,” out Aug. 18, Tatum plays the lead character attempting to execute an elaborate robbery during the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway