Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Martin Truex Jr. made major statement leading 588 of 600 miles at Charlotte

Truex paid out at 8/1 odds at Las Vegas sports books
CONCORD, NC – In an amazing accomplishment, Martin Truex Jr. led 392 of 400 laps, equivalent of 588 of 600 miles in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway putting an exclamation point on one of the most dominating winning performances in NASCAR modern-era history.

As dominating as Truex Jr. was in NASCAR’s longest race, the effort by his Furniture Row Racing team wasn’t all that surprising. On several occasions this season, including at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, other mile-and-a-half tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, Truex had the car to beat – but didn’t end up in Victory Lane.

On Sunday night, nothing would stand in-between Truex and his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.

“It feels awesome. Coca-Cola 600, man, this is one everybody wants to win,” said Truex after the race. “I feel like we had this thing won last year when we gave it up and just I don’t know. There are so many emotions, I had to unplug my radio and just ride around and think for a few minutes, because I didn’t even know what I was going to say or what I was going to do. Just we’ve been through a lot as a group. I’ve been through a lot personally.

“I’ve been through a lot with Sherry (Pollex, girlfriend) and just it’s fun to have her here and have her celebrate and it’s just – happy for my guys, happy for Barney (Visser, team owner), Toyota, everybody that helps us do this. I mean, I’ve got the best team in the world and we’ve got these Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas flying, man. It’s just fun to drive them and I honestly thought we could have been better tonight and just kept digging and just kept making small adjustments and working on it and I don’t know, man. Here we are.”

Read More Here....CatchFence.com

Martin Truex Jr. dominates Coca-Cola 600

Martin Truex Jr. led 392 of the 400 laps Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Coca-Cola 600 results

Coca-Cola 600 Fast Facts 
* Martin Truex Jr. won the 57th Annual COCA-COLA 600, his fourth victory in 382 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
* This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2016.
* This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 22 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
* Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 31 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2016.
* Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 30 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
* Chase Elliott (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
* Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 36 points over Kurt Busch.
* Truex set the Charlotte Motor Speedway record with 392 laps led.
* Truex's 588 miles led were the most in any NASCAR race in history.
* The time of race was the shortest of any Coca-Cola 600 in history (3:44:08, 160.644 mph).

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Final 2016 Coca-Cola 600 Driver Ratings following all Practices

Martin Truex Jr. is really, really fast this weekend. but can you trust him?
LAS VEGAS -- Martin Truex Jr. was bad-fast in Saturday's final two practice sessions at Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. He laid down the fastest lap (186.387 mph) in the final session, but more impressive was his speed on the longs runs where he had the best 10-consecutive lap average in both of Saturday's practices. With this being NASCAR's longest race of the season, the long run angle is a great place to start handicapping.

Truex starts from the pole and should be in position to lead the most laps like he did last year when he finished fifth and led 131 turns. He's also led the most laps in the past two 1.5-mile tracks and he's using Joe Gibbs Racing equipment that has won six of the past seven races on the schedule. He's got one heck of a resume stacked up that makes him the favorite to win. The only issue with Truex is trusting him to close races out.

Micah Roberts' Top-10 Rated NASCAR Drivers
Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 29, 2016 - 3:16 pm (PT)
Rating     Driver       Odds     Practice 1   Qualified    Practice 2   Practice 3
 1. Martin Truex Jr. 8/1              7th                   1st               3rd              1st
Best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2 and 3; led most laps in past two races on 1.5s.
 2. Jimmie Johnson 6/1              2nd                 7th               2nd             3rd
Seven-time winner and 1,735 laps led. Second-best 10 consecutive lap averare in practice 2.
 3. Kyle Busch 6/1                       10th                16th            32nd           15th
One of two tracks with no Cup wins; 10 top-fives in 24 starts; won past two races on 1.5s.
 4. Kevin Harvick 6.1                   4th                  8th               7th            24th 
Three-time winner in 30 starts with 15.1 average; using his All-Star chassis that led 21 laps.
 5. Kurt Busch 12/1                      1st                 13th               1st              2nd 
2010 winner; last driver to win All-Star race and Coca-Cola back-to-back; has look of winner.
 6. Carl Edwards 8/1                    3rd                   9th               4th            11th
Won this race last season -- first at Charlotte; 10.5 average finish in 22 starts, seven top-fives.
 7. Joey Logano 10/1                    6th                  2nd             12th              4th
Won last fall and also last week's All-Star Race; has series leading 9.5 average in 14 starts.
 8. Chase Elliott 18/1                 12th                12th               6th              18th 
In midst of incredible run with four top-fives in past six races. He's not your typical rookie.
 9. Matt Kenseth 8/1                  26th                27th             26th               8th
2000 Coca-Cola win was first Cup win of career, also won 2011 fall race; 14.2 average finish.
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15/1      27th                25th             18th             21st
No wins in 32 starts on home track, but runner-up at Atlanta and Texas suggest win is near.

Note: This is the fifth of 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Charlotte runs most similar to Atlanta and Texas.

Odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting NASCAR odds since 1994. Follow him on twitter @MicahRoberts7

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kevin Harvick using All-Star chassis for Coca-Cola 600

Kevin harvick is 6/1 to win his fourth Charlotte Cup race Sunday.
Chassis Information: 
Chassis No. 4-995: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-995 in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-995 made its Sprint Cup debut Saturday night in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. Harvick started first, led 21 laps in the first segment and overcame a mechanical issue related to the car’s steering to finish 11th . Coca-Cola 600 

Notes of Interest:  
Earning It Since 2014: Harvick is in his 16th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and his third at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first two seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce eight victories, nine poles, 37 top-five finishes and 48 top-10s; led 4,431 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.  

2016 Race Winner: Harvick is one of six Sprint Cup winners through the first nine races of 2016. He scored his lone win of the season March 13 at Phoenix International Raceway in one of the closest finishes in series history, when he beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by .01 of a second. The win should secure Harvick a spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.  

All-Star Results: Harvick started from the first position after rain forced the cancellation of qualifying at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. He jumped out to an early lead and led 21 of the first 25 laps before a mechanical issue related to the car’s steering caused Harvick to finish 11th . – more – Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report – Charlotte Page Two  

Points Position: Harvick scored a 15th -place finish at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the most recent points-paying Sprint Cup race to hold his lead in the Sprint Cup point standings. He now leads second-place Kyle Busch by 21 points heading into the Coca-Cola 600.  

2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in points (418), driver rating (116.2), average finish (7.6), average running position (6.136), laps led (688), percentage of laps led (17.6), fastest laps run (516), percentage of fastest laps run (110.3), miles led (860.73), laps run on the lead lap (3,880), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (99.39), laps in the top-15 (3,669) and percentage of laps in the top-15 (94.0). He ranks second in bonus points (17), top-five finishes (five), top- 10 finishes (nine) and laps completed (3,903). He also ranks fourth in quality passes (992). 

9,000 Laps Led and Counting: Harvick led 139 laps in the Good Sam 500k at Phoenix to surpass 9,000 laps led for his Sprint Cup career. He is one of only five active Sprint Cup drivers to lead more than 9,000 laps. The others are Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Busch and Matt Kenseth. After leading 117 laps at Dover, Harvick now sits at 9,545 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.  

Leading Laps: Harvick has led a series-best 688 laps through the first 12 points-paying races of 2016. The Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City are the only two races of 2016 in which Harvick did not lead at least one lap.  

Harvick in the Coca-Cola 600: Harvick will make his 16th Coca-Cola 600 start Sunday. In 15 previous Coca-Cola 600 starts, Harvick has two wins (2011 and 2013), four top-five finishes, six top-10s and has led 159 laps. He finished second in his first attempt in 2001, but didn’t record another top-five finish until he won the 2011 race. Since 2011, Harvick has two wins, a second-place finish (2014), an eighth-place finish (2012) and a ninth-place finish (2015).  

Harvick at Charlotte since Joining SHR: Harvick has four Sprint Cup points-paying starts at Charlotte and three non-points starts in the Sprint All-Star Race since joining SHR at the beginning of the 2014 season. He has scored runner-up finishes in his last two appearances in the non-points-paying All-Star Race and finished 11th last weekend. Harvick has one win, two second-place finishes and a ninth-place finish in his four points-paying starts since joining SHR. His lone win came in the Bank of America 500 in October 2014, when he started seventh, led 162 laps and beat Jeff Gordon to the finish line by.571 of a second. He finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson in May 2014 and Joey Logano in October 2015.  

Harvick at Charlotte in the Xfinity Series: Harvick has 26 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte. He has three poles (May 2001, May and October 2003), seven top-fives, 16 top-10s, and has led 293 laps with an average finish of 10.8. He has also scored top-fives in five of his last six Xfinity starts at Charlotte. His best Xfinity finish at Charlotte was second in October 2012, when he took the checkered flag 2.760 seconds behind race-winner Joey Logano.  

Harvick at Charlotte in the Camping World Truck Series: Harvick has three starts at Charlotte in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He started third, led 70 of 136 laps and finished fifth in his first start in May 2003. He started sixth and finished fourth in May 2004. In his most recent Truck Series start at Charlotte in May 2007, Harvick started 24th and finished 28th after he suffered a mechanical issue.  

Career Totals: Harvick has 32 wins, 142 top-five finishes and 266 top-10s in 550 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Saturday night’s All-Star Race.

Good Coca-Cola 600 bet? Truex Jr, who led most laps on 1.5s at Texas and Kansas

Martin Truex Jr. is 8/1 to win Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. 
Furniture Row Racing to Honor Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey Edward Bohr as Part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance

DENVER, Colo. (May 24, 2016) —After a near miss of winning last year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. is braced for another go at NASCAR’s longest race of the season.

But before the green flag drops late Sunday afternoon for the Memorial Day weekend race at the 1.5-mile oval, Truex, along with his Furniture Row Racing team members and the NASCAR community, will take pause to remember the fallen military heroes from different generations who paid the ultimate price to preserve freedom.

As part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance, Denver-based Furniture Row Racing will honor U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey Edward Bohr, who was killed in action on April 10, 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His name will appear on the windshield on Truex’s No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota.

A native of Ossian, Iowa, GySgt. Bohr was awarded the Silver Star Medal posthumously for heroic action against an enemy of the United States during a dangerous mission of seizing a presidential palace in north Baghdad.

Bohr, who also served in the first Gulf War, was in the military for 22 years, six as an Army paratrooper and 16 in the Marine Corps. Prior to his deployment to Iraq, he helped develop the live fire range at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. In 2004, the Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton dedicated a building in his honor.

“Gunnery Sergeant Bohr was a special person in many ways,” said John Parks, director of purchasing at Furniture Row Racing and Marine Corps veteran, who knew Bohr during their time together at Camp Pendleton. “He was a no nonsense Marine and very well respected for his leadership qualities. He was a dedicated military person who gave his all for the cause of freedom. It’s a great honor to have him ride with us this weekend in Charlotte.”

Along with Parks, U.S. military veterans who work at Furniture Row Racing include team owner Barney Visser (Army, Vietnam), Charlie Krauch (Army, Vietnam), Craig Phillips (Air Force, Vietnam), Chuck Lemay (Navy), Barry Huston (Navy) and Gregg Huls (Marine Corps).

Truex expressed his feelings about Gunnery Sergeant Bohr and the meaning of Memorial Day.

“It’s the brave and selfless military people like Gunnery Sergeant Bohr who have put their lives on the line so we can enjoy our freedom,” said Truex. “He deserves a good ride on Sunday and I would like nothing better than to drive the car with his name on it right into Victory Lane.”

When Truex says he feels he can win Sunday’s race, he has history to back up the statement.

Truex had the dominating car in the previous two Sprint Cup races at 1.5-mile tracks, leading the most laps at Texas Motor Speedway (141 on April 9) and Kansas Speedway (172 on May 7). He also led the most laps (131) in last year’s Coca-Cola 600, but the four drivers who finished ahead of him took a gamble on fuel mileage.

“We know we can contend at these mile-and-a-half tracks, but we need to close the deal,” said Truex, who scored two top-five finishes at Charlotte last year. “I thought we had the 600 victory last year as we did this year in Texas and Kansas. But things just didn’t work out at the end of those races, and hopefully Sunday night will be our time to celebrate.”

Truex, who is coming off a ninth-place finish in Dover, ranks ninth in Sprint Cup driver points.

- DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing

Charlotte is Kyle Busch's 'favorite track' despite never winning

Kyle Busch is 6/1 co-favorite to win 2016 Coca-Cola 600.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 24, 2016) – While any win on the PGA Tour is a huge accomplishment, there are four major championships golfers shoot for each season that are more special than the rest. They are professional golf’s Grand Slam, which is made up of the Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship – aka British Open – and the PGA Championship.

Same goes for professional tennis, with players looking to win the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open.

While NASCAR doesn’t necessarily have four distinct “major” championships, there are four races during NASCAR’s regular season that are particularly coveted by drivers and teams, although some might argue which would be the exact four. It starts with the biggest one of them all, the season-opening Daytona 500 in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, also known as the Great American Race. It continues with this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late July and, finally, the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Labor Day Weekend.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Red, White and Blue Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has two of those major wins on his resume – the Southern 500 in 2008 and last year’s Brickyard 400. But now, Busch has his sights set on a particularly long-awaited Sprint Cup win Sunday at Charlotte. At the traditional Memorial Day-weekend Coca-Cola 600, which also happens to be NASCAR’s longest event, Busch has 13 top-10 finishes in his last 17 starts at the 1.5-mile oval, making him feel his team is closer than ever to hoisting his first trophy there.

The Coca-Cola 600 would be special because the event is at what Busch often says is his favorite racetrack. He has come close to winning a Sprint Cup event at Charlotte, but he’s yet to carry home a coveted Sprint Cup trophy from the track that is home to a majority of the NASCAR teams and is just around the corner from where Busch now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Ever since his childhood in Las Vegas, some of Busch’s favorite race-watching memories came during Charlotte’s traditional Coca-Cola 600 and All-Star Race during the month of May. He dreamed that one day he, too, could be the one hoisting the trophy at one of stock car racing’s most hallowed grounds.

In his 24 previous Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte over the past 10-plus seasons, Busch has managed to enjoy plenty of success on the oval nicknamed the “Beast of the Southeast,” with 10 top-five finishes to go with his 14 overall top-10s there. In addition to solid Sprint Cup finishes, Busch has captured eight NASCAR Xfinity Series wins – May 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010, October 2008 and 2009, and both May and October 2013. He also has six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins – 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

On this Memorial Day weekend, Busch will sport a special Red, White and Blue M&M’S Camry promoting M&M’S partnership with Operation Gratitude and Walmart. For a limited time, fans can buy the Red, White and Blue M&M’S exclusively at Walmart. M&M’S candies were created 75 years ago as rations for our troops. During this year’s promotion, for every bag purchased by a consumer, one bag will be sent to our American troops abroad. Fans can also show their support for our troops on social media with #CelebrateWithM. More can be learned about the program at www.myconfectioncorner.com.

So, will this be the weekend that Busch finally adds another “major” to his trophy case with a long-awaited Charlotte victory? Winning NASCAR’s longest race Sunday would get Busch closer to achieving NASCAR’s version of a career grand slam.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What are the challenges of racing at Charlotte?

“I think the biggest challenge about Charlotte is how much the track changes from practice. You practice all during the day and then you go into night racing. You’ve got to know what kind of adjustments to make to your car and how well you can race at night. Typically, you go back to your night notes. For us, we’ve run well there in the past and like going there. It’s a fun place to race and adds to the excitement of spending some time at home. I’m also really excited about our Red, White, and Blue M&M’S Camry. For every special Red, White, and Blue M&M’s bag sold at Walmart, M&M’S will send one to our American troops who are protecting our freedom every day.”

You have been able to win at all but two tracks where the Sprint Cup Series competes with Charlotte being one and Pocono next weekend being the other. Beyond just wanting to win the Coca-Cola 600, would simply winning at Charlotte also be a feather in your cap?
“Winning at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is my favorite track, would be really special since I’ve been able to win there in other series and have been close a lot in the Sprint Cup car. It seems like the month of May at Charlotte just doesn’t like me too much. I’m hoping we can change that there this weekend. There’s only one other track where we also need to win, but there’s no doubt Charlotte and the Coke 600 would be big.”

You’ve always said that Charlotte is your favorite track. Is there any particular reason why?
“Charlotte is my favorite racetrack for a lot of reasons. Just growing up watching races on TV, I loved watching the All-Star Race under the lights and the 600 with all the sparks flying and all the guys going after hard-fought, hard-racing wins. The Xfinity Series has been good to me there. The Truck Series has been pretty good to me there, too. But a Cup Series win has eluded me there. We’re definitely getting closer than I was back when I first started racing at Charlotte. We’ve been able to cross off several other tracks here in the last year or so, so I’m hoping I can finally get that Sprint Cup win with our M&M’s Red, White, and Blue Camry.”

Does Sunday’s 600-mile race feel different than other events?

“It depends on what kind of car you have. I’ve been in races in the 600-mile race where it’s felt really easy and short, and I’ve been in races where it’s been a long, drawn-out, knock ’em, sock ’em kind of day. Hopefully, Adam Stevens (crew chief) and the guys can bring a really good M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Camry for me this weekend and it will be a smooth race for us. I like running the 600 miles. I think it brings a new aspect to our sport – its longevity. People will say, ‘It’s too long. It’s boring. Whatever.’ Well, you know, it’s a part of the product and the history that we’ve had on Memorial Day weekend for a long time that you run that extra hundred miles. And car preparation goes into that. Will your car make it? Will your engine last? Are the drivers able to be competitive throughout the whole race? You’ll have fatigue, sometimes, even at a 500-mile race. So, if you don’t show signs of weakness, you should be pretty good.”

If you’re saving your car for the end of the race, is it a struggle for you not to pass during the earlier stages of the long, 600-mile event?
“Yeah, you want to race those guys who are around you all of the time. You think to yourself, ‘There’s a car in front of me. I want to pass that guy.’ That’s what’s in your blood to do. Sometimes, you’ve just got to back off a little bit and kind of let the race play out. You’ve got to get to the end of the final pit stop. Once you get to the final pit stop, then the race is on.”

- True Speed Communication for M&M’s Racing/Joe Gibbs Racing

Austin Dillon won both Charlotte Xfinity Series races in 2015

Austin Dillon is 40/1 to win on home track.
This Week’s Cheerios Chevrolet SS at Charlotte Motor Speedway …Austin Dillon will pilot chassis No. 548 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dillon’s teammate Paul Menard raced this Chevrolet SS to a 22nd-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in April.

Winner, Winner
… In four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dillon’s best finish is seventh in October 2015. The sophomore Sprint Cup Series competitor also has three Sprint Showdown starts to his credit, with a best finish of sixth in 2015. Dillon earned back-to-back NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway last year and is a three-time pole winner at the track. In three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dillon has two top-10 finishes.

A Family Tradition
… Dillon grew up watching races at Charlotte Motor Speedway from his grandfather’s condo, which overlooks the racetrack.

#CheerThe3 … Dillon continues a long-standing Richard Childress Racing tradition this weekend by carrying General Mills’ Cheerios brand on the No. 3 Chevrolet. General Mills has been an active sponsor in motorsports for more than 15 years, working with drivers including Austin and Ty Dillon, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Johnny Benson. Both Dillon brothers made their Daytona 500 debut with General Mills, with Austin in the Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet in 2013 and Ty in the Cheerios Chevrolet in 2015. In 2016, Cheerios is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The cereal debuted as “Cheerioats” in 1941. Cheerios has been a family favorite of the Dillon and Childress families for years. Its wholesome goodness is perfect for toddlers to adults and everyone in between. Made from whole grain oats, and without artificial flavors or colors, they’re naturally low in fat and cholesterol free. These wholesome little “o’s” have only one gram of sugar!

NASCAR: An American Salute
… Dillon and the No. 3 Cheerios team will participate in 600 Miles of Remembrance on Memorial Day Weekend. Dillon’s name will be replaced on his race car windshield header with the name of a fallen military service member for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 3 team will feature Navy SEAL Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer Mark “Badger” Carter, who was killed in action in Balad, Iraq on December 11, 2007. There is a Crossfit “Heroes” workout named after Badger that Dillon and several RCR team members have completed in Carter’s honor.

Meet Dillon … If you’re in the Charlotte area, you have several chances to meet Dillon this week in advance of the Coca-Cola 600. Dillon, crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 3 pit crew are scheduled to greet race fans at the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, N.C. on Wednesday, May 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Dillon is scheduled to sign autographs at Walmart (5825 Thunder Road, NW, Concord, NC 28027) from 5-6 p.m. Eastern Time on behalf of Coca-Cola, also on Wednesday. On Thursday, May 26, Dillon is scheduled to join his brother, Ty Dillon, and grandfather, Richard Childress, for an autograph session at Bass Pro Shops in Concord, N.C. from 10-11 a.m. Eastern Time. On Friday, May 27, Dillon is scheduled to appear at Sam’s Club (2421 Supercenter Dr. N.E., Kannapolis, NC 28025) at 12 Noon on behalf of Cheerios. On Sunday, May 29, Dillon is scheduled to visit the NASCAR Fanatics Trackside Superstore at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the schedule. What do you do to endure a 600-mile race?

“It’s a long race. You constantly have to keep your focus and keep your mind on the race. One mistake puts you a lap down, but you know you have time to get it back. I love Charlotte. It’s one of my favorite race tracks. I’ve been able to win the last two NASCAR XFINITY Series races there. Hopefully, we can come home with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win there before too long.”

The race will start in the daytime and end at night. What do you have to do to make sure your car handles well in the changing track conditions?

“It’s tough. You have to be able to start the race with your balance good enough during the sunlight and daytime. When the sun sets, that’s when you really have to start adjusting on your car and make it faster. You’ll gain a lot of grip throughout the race. You can see guys that weren’t that great when the race started but as the nighttime rolls in, they gain speed and destroy the field. We’ll look at our notes from the last couple of years and start the race based off those.”

- Richard Childress Racing

Johnson, Harvick and Kyle Busch co-favorites to win 2016 Coca-Cola 600

Can Kyle Busch or Dale Earnhardt Jr. win first ever Charlotte race?
LAS VEGAS -- The 13th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season takes us to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the schedule. This will be the fifth race run on a 1.5-mile track, but the big difference from the other four is the changing conditions of the track where the race starts in daylight, goes to dusk and closes out in the cooler night air for the final laps.

“Having a car balance that you can adjust because so much changes from the day when it’s hot and sunny, and then you get into the night when it cools down a little bit without any sun on the track," said three-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Kasey Kahne. "The track changes for grip. So if you can tighten your car up at the right times and do it the right way to where you don’t lose the attitude that you are looking for throughout the race, that’s key."

All the practice sessions this week on Thursday and Saturday will be run in the daylight, which makes being ideally set-up for the final 100 laps at night harder to prepare for, but they also have all the data from last weeks All-Star race run under Charlotte lights to utilize.

“Last weekend’s All-Star event was in essence a ‘test’ for this weekend," said crew chief Chad Knaus, who has set-up four winning Coca-Cola 600 cars for Jimmie Johnson. "We learned some important things about tire fall off even though we didn’t get a ton of practice. The 600-miler is a tough, tough race and it takes a lot of patience and some endurance on everyone’s part to be there at the end.”

Johnson comes in as one of three 6-to-1 co-favorites to win on the basis of his series leading seven wins at Charlotte.

Here's a look at all the odds posted at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook with a brief look how each driver has fared over the years at Charlotte.

NASCAR at Charlotte betting odds, driver preview

Kevin HARVICK 6/1 - Three-time winner, including 2011 and 2013. On the 1.5-mile tracks most similar to Charlotte, he led a race-high 131 laps at Atlanta and finished sixth and finished 10th at Texas. He'll be using the same chassis he used last week in the All-star race that led 21 laps in the first segment.

Jimmie JOHNSON 6/1 - Seven-time winner, including taking five of six races from 2003-05. He's the only driver to win four straight on the track that has hosted two races a season since 1960. He's also led a series-best 1,735 laps over his career. Beyond all his past history, the top reason to back him this week is doing well on tracks where the new low downforce package is a big deal; he won at Atlanta and Fontana, was third at Las Vegas and fourth at Texas.

Kyle BUSCH 6/1 - Just two tracks, Charlotte and Pocono, have avoided a Busch victory burnout in the Cup series. He's also never won the non-points All-Star race at Charlotte, so that's three chances a year for the past 12 years that he's gone winless. However, he's been close several times. He's got 10 top-five finishes in 24 starts and has led 907 laps. His best stat supporting his first Charlotte win Sunday is that he's the only driver to finish in the top-five in all four 1.5-mile tracks this season, including winning the last two at Texas and Kansas. His Kansas win on May 7 was the first of his career there.

Hard to believe Dale Earnhardt Jr. has no wins on home Charlotte track

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 15/1 to win Coca-Cola 600. He's a good bet, too!
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 41 
Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the Indy 500 and the Charlotte 600

“We start ramping up and getting ready right as the Indy 500 is winding down. Sometimes we end up getting to see the very end of the race and the last lap, and sometimes we’re off doing something. It sort of adds some importance and a new element to our race. It makes that day feel unique and singular to other race weekends as you’re watching those races and you know what’s going on and the drama unfolding in the Indy 500 and everybody around the garage is talking about it – it really is ramping up the energy knowing that we’re getting ready to run our 600-mile event and that everybody that’s a motor sports fan is tuning in to everything that’s happening all day long, so there’s a unique layer to that particular weekend that’s unlike any other race weekend.”

Earnhardt on the 600 Miles of Remembrance

“NASCAR has always had a close relationship with the military of our country, and honors a family weekly who has lost someone. We always have service men and women out to the track as guests. That’s always been an important addition to the weekend. I like that we ramp it up for this particular weekend. It’ll be great to meet Lance Corporal Aaron Reed’s family and the other member of his squad. That’ll be an experience that I probably won’t forget – it will be pretty weighted. I’m looking forward to it.”

Earnhardt on a new setup for the All-Star Race leading into the 600
“As far as our Mountain Dew and Nationwide Chevy, we got it better (during the All-Star Race). A lot of the setup is new and some stuff we’re trying to find some speed with. We still have some gains to make. We didn’t win the race but we outran a lot of guys who had been outrunning us the last few weeks. We didn’t get to practice much so we worked really hard during the race changing a lot of stuff, and I hope (No. 88 crew chief) Greg (Ives) learned a lot. This weekend we’ll actually get to practice some and make some changes to see if we can’t get our car better for the 600. I’d love to win that race.”

CHARLOTTE STATS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has yet to win at the 1.5-mile oval, but if you throw out the DNF for engine trouble in the spring of 2013, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has an average finish of 15.2 in the last five years (2012-2016) and a career total of six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Charlotte Motor Speedway is also the site of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start (May 1999) and first Cup pole (May 2000).

LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks sixth among drivers for green-flag passes during the last 10 points races at Charlotte, completing 1,687 of them. In that span, the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Stars & Stripes Chevrolet SS ranks ninth among drivers in fastest laps run (210), 11th in laps in the top 15 (3,764) and 14th in laps led at the 1.5-mile oval (162).

PATRIOTIC SCHEME: Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevy will have a special patriotic paint scheme this weekend. The No. 88 Nationwide Stars & Stripes Chevrolet SS features an American Flag themed design and supports the launch of the 5th annual NASCAR: An American Salute initiative. The initiative runs seven weeks (from Memorial Day to Independence Day) and is the industry’s collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Nationwide and Earnhardt worked together to design the paint scheme and unveiled it on Nationwide’s social media accounts on Monday, May 23. Photos of the red, white and blue Nationwide scheme can be seen here.

LCPL AARON REED: Perhaps the most notable feature of the Nationwide Stars & Stripes paint scheme will be seen on the No. 88 Chevy’s windshield, as the space that typically features Earnhardt’s name will be replaced with the name of Lance Corporal Aaron Reed. It is part of NASCAR’s “600 Miles of Remembrance” where all 43 drivers will honor United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service for their country. Reed, a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, was a member of Lima (LEE-mah) Company and was killed in action on Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq. Earnhardt and Nationwide have invited Lance Corporal Reed’s mother, aunt and sister to attend the race as their guests. In addition, Travis Williams, the only surviving member of Aaron’s squad will join Nationwide and the Reed family at the race. Lance Corporal Reed’s family has set up a scholarship fund in his honor. Over the last 10 years, 47 $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to students from Aaron’s High School, Southeastern, in Lancaster, Ohio. Donations can be sent to: The LCpl Aaron Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Southeastern Local Schools, 2003 Lancaster Rd., Chillicothe, OH 45601.

NATIONWIDE AND VETERANS: Nationwide has a long and rich history of supporting our military. The company recently announced that it has hired 1,000 veterans in the past four years. Nationwide appreciates the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans. Also attending the race as a guest of Earnhardt and Nationwide is Jason Dominguez, who was also a member of Lima Company. After his services with the Marines and after serving as the assistant director and chief of staff for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, Dominguez joined Nationwide. He participates with Nationwide’s Military Associate Resource Group program.

NCH DONATIONS: Some packages have already sold out, but there’s still time to donate to Nationwide Children’s Hospital through the Ride with Dale Jr. To Help Kids Everywhere campaign and have your name featured on the No. 88 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet SS and the pit wall banner for the race on July 9 at Kentucky Motor Speedway. For more information or to donate, click here.


2016 Season

  • 11th in standings
  • 12 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 4 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 49 laps led


  • 589 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 147 top-five finishes
  • 251 top-10 finishes
  • 8,183 laps led

Charlotte Career 

  • 32 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 360 laps led

Jimmie Johnson goes for fifth Coca-Cola 600 win

Jimmie Johnson is 6/1 co-favorite to win Coca-Cola 600.
Driver Jimmie Johnson
Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 40
Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

Jimmie Johnson on the 600 Miles of Remembrance

“I’m so honored to have SFG Werhly’s name on our Lowe’s Chevrolet. It gives us that much more incentive to contend for a win to honor the men and women serving our country. Every time I see a soldier at the track, I thank them for their service. Without their bravery we wouldn’t have the freedom to do what we love.”

No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus on the Charlotte 600
“Last weekend’s All-Star event was in essence a ‘test’ for this weekend. We learned some important things about tire fall off even though we didn’t get a ton of practice. The 600-miler is a tough, tough race and it takes a lot of patience and some endurance on everyone’s part to be there at the end.”


2016 Season

  • 5th in standings
  • 12 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 219 laps led


  • 519 starts
  • 77 wins
  • 34 pole positions
  • 212 top-five finishes
  • 320 top-10 finishes
  • 17,928 laps led

Charlotte Career 

  • 29 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 13 top-five finishes
  • 17 top-10 finishes
  • 1,735 laps led

IN REMEMBRANCE: Instead of Johnson’s name on the windshield for the 600-mile Memorial Day weekend event, his name has been replaced with Army Sergeant First Class Kyle B. Wehrly. Werhly served in the Illinois National Guard from 1995 until his untimely death in Ashraf, Iraq, on Nov. 3, 2005. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal among many others. During his time in the military he also worked at Lowe's Store No. 92 in Galesburg, Illinois. Werhly is survived by his wife Janet, his daughter Kylee and his parents, who will all be in attendance this weekend.

RED, WHITE AND LOWE’S BLUE: For the first time this season, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet SS will be patriotic themed. Longtime sponsor Lowe’s has a lengthy history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe’s has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees.

WINNING FROM THE POLE AT CHARLOTTE: Twice in his career, Johnson has won the 600-mile event from the pole position at Charlotte. The first was in 2004 when Johnson started first and led 334 out of 400 laps en route to victory. The second time was in May 2014 when Johnson won the pole and led 164 laps on his way to the win.

ALL-TIME AT CHARLOTTE: Johnson has a total of seven Sprint Cup wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway with four coming in the 600-mile event. His victory in 2014 broke a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, making Johnson the all-time series points-paying win leader at Charlotte.

LET’S BLAZE!: For the second time in his career, Johnson will lend his voice to an animated cartoon series. Nickelodeon’s popular animated pre-school and STEM-based series ‘Blaze and the Monster Machines’ will feature Johnson in upcoming race car themed episodes, along with Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kahne and Elliott and Danica Patrick. Johnson is featured as “Dash”, a car that is fun, friendly, fast and the ultimate racing buddy for Blaze. The first special, “Race Car Superstar,” premieres Monday, May 30, at 1:30 p.m. ET, followed by “Race to Eagle Rock” on Thursday, June 2, at 1:30 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon. The remaining race car episodes will roll out this fall.

- Hendrick Motorsports

Indy 500 odds shuffle in Las Vegas indicating wide open race

Juan Pablo Montoya is 10/1 to win his third Indy 500.
After one week of practice and qualifying sessions in preparation for Sunday's 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the odds board at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has been drastically altered from what was posted last week.

Scott Dixon, winner of the 2008 Indy 500, remains the favorite to win, but his odds have been raised from 5-to-1 up to 7-to-1 because so many other drivers showed themselves capable of winning.

Team Penske is another group of drivers that had their odds raised. All four of them were listed at 8-to-1 or less last week, but two-time winner Juan Pablo Montoya (starts 17th) is now 10-to-1. Three-time winner Helio Castroneves is 12-to-1. Simon Pagenaud, winner of three of the five IndyCar races this season was raised from 8-to-1 to 12-to-1. Will Power has the best starting position on the team from the sixth slot and also was raised from 8-to-1 to 12-to-1.

So what gives? It wasn't like the Penske drivers were slow. They've won four races this season, albeit on street or road circuits, and a Chevy has won all five.

SuperBook manager Ed Salmons said he was impressed by the speed Honda showed, which is why he tightened the numbers on some and raised others, like Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing drivers, to balance out his theoretic hold percentage.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 Coca-Cola 600 Betting Preview

Coca-Cola 600 goes three stages from daylight to dusk to night.
LAS VEGAS -- It's a huge Memorial Day weekend for auto racing fans as three big races happen across the world. It begins early Sunday morning with the Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the Indianapolis 500 and then closes with NASCAR's longest race of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600. What a fantastic triple feature.

Normally, I'd break down the Indy 500 as the primary race featured in this spot, but hardly anyone bets it any more so why bother. Las Vegas handles don't lie and the Indy 500 has been in a massive decline the past two decades to the point where Sunday's NASCAR race will handle four times more action than the 100th running of the Indy 500. I'll still watch it and I'll even bet a few drivers to win, but my action on the NASCAR race will be 10 times more than the IndyCar race.

Last year I got lucky with Juan Pablo Montoya and I'm going to roll with him again Sunday. Team Penske has won four the five Indy races this season and Chevy has won all five. Team Penske also has 16 Indy 500 wins, easily the most by any car owner. This is the race Penske puts all their research and development into and they have the most resources and cash to give themselves an edge over everyone else, so that's good enough for me.

The reason I prefer NASCAR more is the ratings for each driver are truer. We have a lot of data to go off of, especially on 1.5-mile tracks. So the first thing we'll do is look back at what happened in the previous four races on 1.5s with an emphasis on Atlanta and Texas results because the two tracks run most similar to Charlotte. Last week's All-Star Race was also run at Charlotte, but between the randomness of the rule changes, the results don't tell the whole story. One thing we can take out of the All-Star race was that Kyle Larson was very fast and we should expect another good run Sunday.

Kyle Busch has never won at Charlotte in any Cup points race or the All-Star Race, but he's the only driver to finish in the top-five in all four races on 1.5s. He's also won the past two races on them (Texas, Kansas). Over his Cup career at Charlotte in points races he's had 10 top-fives in 24 starts. That's good stuff!

Read More Here........Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com

Carl Edwards ready to defend Coca-Cola 600 crown

Carl Edwards is 8/1 to win Coca-Cola 600 again.
Carl Edwards / No. 19 Subway Toyota Preview
Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

No. 19 Subway Toyota News and Notes:

: He is the defending race champion for the Coca-Cola 600. He has had success on the 1.5-mile track in the backyard of several of the teams by winning last year’s Coca-Cola 600 the 2011 Sprint All-Star race and two Xfinity races in 2006 and 2011.

NASCAR: For the second consecutive year, “600 Miles of Remembrance” will pay tribute this Memorial Day Weekend to those who bravely served and died defending our country. Charlotte Motor Speedway and Joe Gibbs Racing will honor all our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces currently serving and those that have served in the past with a special salute during the Coca-Cola 600.

SUBWAY: Subway will be the primary sponsor with Edwards, the No. 19 Subway team and Joe Gibbs Racing for the longest and most grueling 600-mile race of the season. Edwards’ training and discipline has helped him prepare for this test of fitness and fatigue.

In 22 Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Edwards has completed 7,854 of 7,908 laps (99.3 percent) and has led for a total of 137 laps. Edwards has earned one win, seven top-five and 15 top-ten finishes there. His average start is 16.5 and his average finish is 10.5.

RACE INFO: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday; May 29th.The race will be broadcast live on FOX, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.

Edwards’ 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

Edwards’ Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

From the Cockpit:
Carl Edwards
: “The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the biggest events for our sport. It’s a very tough event because of the length. It’s tough because of its prestige and everybody puts a lot of effort into it. It’s physically demanding and it’s demanding on all of the parts of cars, the engines, and the pit crews. It’s a long night. There’s a lot that changes throughout the race and that’s what makes it so special to win. Last year’s win at the Coca-Cola 600 was huge for us. It was a turning point in our season and it’s still sinking in that our 19 team are the defending champions of the Coca-Cola 600. That’s very cool. It’s a great weekend all around. It’s a great weekend of racing worldwide. The Coca-Cola 600, everybody at Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR put on a great event. It’s an event in which we honor the military, all the people that are defending our freedom and our liberties. It’s always nice before that event to take a moment to think about what people have sacrificed so that we can live the way that we do in our country and enjoy things like the Coca-Cola 600. I’m ready to go racing. We’re coming off of a strong run at the All-Star event. We’d like to put Subway in Victory Lane for the first time this season.”

From the Pit Box:
Dave Rogers:
“The Coca-Cola 600 is an amazing event. This is the longest race of the season and it begins at dusk on a very temperature sensitive racetrack. The timing of the event and the additional miles truly challenge drivers, teams and equipment. The Coca-Cola 600 is the perfect race to honor the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services past and present. Our soldiers know hard work and sacrifice best – this race is to honor and give thanks to them. God Bless our troops!”

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin is 12/1 to win first career Charlotte points race

Denny Hamlin is 12/1 to win 2016 Coca-Cola 600.
Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Freight Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:

Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date/Time: May 29/6:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 400 laps/600 miles
Track Length: 1.5 mile
Track Shape: Oval
Banking: 24 degrees
2015 Winner: Carl Edwards

Express Notes:
Coca-Cola 600 Preview:
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the year’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, on Sunday, May 29, part of a packed Memorial Day Weekend motorsports calendar around the world. Denny Hamlin has five top-five finishes and 13 top-10 results in 21 career races at Charlotte, including a best finish of second in both races at the track in 2012. He finished eighth in the Coke 600 one year ago, and has led a total of 240 laps around the 1.5-mile oval. He will also compete in Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing.

NASCAR Salutes: Hamlin’s #11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry will feature a special name on the windshield for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. As part of the NASCAR Salutes: 600 Miles of Remembrance program, each Sprint Cup Series car will feature a fallen soldier. The #11 Camry will honor Marine Corps Sergeant John Davis Harvey, of Roanoke, Va., who was killed during an Iranian hostage rescue mission on April 25, 1980. Members of Harvey’s family will be in attendance for Sunday’s race. Additionally, Hamlin will visit Ft. Bragg, the U.S. Army post near Fayetteville, N.C., on Wednesday, May 25.

Hamlin Statistics:
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Races: 21
Wins: 0
Top-5: 5
Top-10: 13
Average Start: 11.9
Average Finish: 12.8
Laps Led: 240

Hamlin Conversation — CHARLOTTE:

How difficult is the Coke 600 from a physical standpoint and keeping up with changing track conditions?

“The Coke 600 is obviously very tough on both the drivers and the cars. It’s a long race, so it’ll be important to maintain hydration throughout the week in preparation for the four or five hours in the car. It looks like the weather will be pretty warm, which will make it hot inside the car. The race certainly will test the drivers’ physical fitness. From a handling standpoint, you have to build a lot of adjustability in the car. The race starts during the afternoon and goes into the night, so the track will see big changes in terms of grip and handling. The first half of the race, you just try to keep enough speed to stay on the lead lap during the long green flag runs, knowing that you want your car to be at its best when the sun goes down for those last 100 or 150 laps.”

North Harrisburg, Pa., Along for the Ride at Charlotte: For the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, FedEx Freight recognizes the company’s North Harrisburg, Pa., service center by featuring the call letters “NHS” on the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota. The North Harrisburg service center opened in 1995 and has approximately 500 team members.

FedEx Office – Closest to Charlotte Motor Speedway: 7741 Gateway Lane NW, Ste 110, Concord, NC 28027, (704) 979-1971
Feb. 21Daytona 500Daytona111200/200Running951st
Feb. 28Folds of Honor 500Atlanta1216328/330Running 4th
March 6Kobalt Tools 400Las Vegas919267/267Running108th
March 13Good Sam 500Phoenix33313/313Running 6th
March 20Auto Club 400Fontana33205/205Running24th
April 3STP 500Martinsville838221/500Crash 9th
April 9Duck Commander 500Texas612334/334Running 8th
April 17Food City 500Bristol420500/500Running 9th
April 24Toyota Owners 400Richmond56400/400Running18th
May 1GEICO 500Talladega831170/188Running512th
May 7GoBowling.com 400Kansas337240/267Crash 13th
May 15AAA 400Dover67400/400Running1513th
Averages/Totals6.516.291.6% 128  

- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing