NASCAR COCA-COLA 600 ANALYSIS
We have a lot to review before finalizing our bets for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 15th race of the Cup season, beginning with thanking all our fallen U.S. soldiers through America’s short history. No sport does it better than NASCAR as each year they put the names of a fallen soldier on the visor of each car as a reminder of what this day is about.
The first task in our money-making goal is understanding what happened in the previous four races on 1.5-mile tracks, which are also the only four races using the race package featuring engines producing 550 horsepower.
We have four different winners from three teams, but one of the winners was equally good in all four races
COCA-COLA 600 BETTING RESOURCES
- Date: Sunday, May 30, 2021
- TV-Time: FOX, 6:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Location: Concord, North Carolina
- Distance: 600 miles, 400 laps
- Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
COCA-COLA 600 CONTENDERS
- Martin Truex Jr. +400
- Chase Elliott +550
- Kyle Busch +600
- Denny Hamlin +850
- Kyle Larson +850
- Kevin Harvick +1100
- Brad Keselwoski +1100
- Joey Logano +1100
- More NASCAR Futures
- (Odds Subject to Change)
The Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday, May 30 from Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. (AP)
KYLE LARSON LAP LEADER
Kyle Larson led laps in all four races, won at Las Vegas, and led the most laps in three of them.
That’s 499 laps led between four races and different types of 1.5-mile layouts. Charlotte’s asphalt isn’t as abrasive as Atlanta’s, but they both have a quad-oval shape and have high banks at 24 degrees in the turns.
“Definitely looking forward to the 600 and getting back on a mile-and-a-half track where we have been one of the strongest cars all year long,” Larson said. “Charlotte is a different mile-and-a-half compared to the other ones we’ve run so far. It’s really bumpy and the transition from day to night is challenging. For whatever reason, I’ve always struggled with that transition, so I’m really looking forward to taking on that challenge in a Hendrick Motorsports car. It’s a long race. We need to keep our nose clean, stay in the hunt and not doing anything too flashy until the end.”
Larson has no wins and just one top-five in 11 Charlotte starts and despite what Larson said about the differences, I still think the Atlanta notes will help them this week as well as others who did well that March 21 day such as winner Ryan Blaney, runner-up Larson, and third-place Alex Bowman.
I went through each driver and determined that all the Hendrick Motorsports cars are good enough to win, and I absolutely love Bowman and William Byron value in the 18-to-1 range when both have been almost as good as the favored Larson (+550).
BETTING ON BOWMAN OR BYRON
Byron won on the 1.5-mile paperclip layout of Homestead to start a string of 11 straight top-10s. The streak ended Sunday at COTA when he finished 11th. You have to be there at the end of the longest race of the season and Byron has done an amazing job of keeping his car clean and choosing his battles. His crew has also been incredible with fast pit stops, and they’ll be critical to adjusting the car with each pit stop as the weather changes from daylight, to dusk, to twilight, and then nightfall. Each temperature change also needs a change to the car.
“This is a big race for us, both Hendrick Motorsports and for myself, growing up in Charlotte,” Byron said. “It’s technically a hometown race for all of us and this was always my favorite racetrack growing up. With how we’re running right now, I feel like we have positive momentum on our side and I feel like we have a chance to win. We just need to keep building off of the things we’ve been working on this year and we’ll be in contention. It’s going to be a great race for us.”
Bowman was cruising to a Coca-Cola 600 win last season winning the first two stages and leading 164 laps and other teams adapted better to the needed changes as the weather and conditions cooled the track. Four days later at Charlotte, he led 51 laps and won the second stage until having some late issues. His best finish on the 1.5s this season was third at Atlanta. His two wins in 2021 have come with the other race package (750 HP).
“The Charlotte oval is one of my favorite tracks,” Bowman said. “It is where I got my first career NASCAR win back in 2017 in the Xfinity Series and it is just a special place. We were really strong in the 600 last year and led the most laps, but just didn’t get the finish to show for it. Our mile-and-a-half program is really strong and I feel like Hendrick Motorsports continues to build fast cars for these tracks.”
The No. 48 winning at Charlotte used to be a regular thing. Rick Hendrick winning at Charlotte has been a regular thing since he came into the series in 1984 as a car owner. His next win anywhere will give him 269 NASCAR Cup wins which will pass Richard Petty Motorsports. If a Hendrick driver were to win Sunday it would up their 12th Coca-Cola 600 win, another record.