NASCAR could have its 10th winner of 2014 this Sunday in Charlotte

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The full, detailed statistical breakdown of who’s done what in the Coca-Cola 600 was done yesterday. Meanwhile, here’s five drivers who could use a win, are past Charlotte winners, and with a win Sunday night would become the 10th different winner of this young NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, in just 12 races.

JIMMIE JOHNSON

Quite honestly the 48 team, although they’ve ran well, have been just a fraction off the 24 team this season. Still, you can’t expect to hold an old dog and Mr. Six-Time down forever. Jimmie Johnson has six past Charlotte race wins, including a run of four in a row in 2004 and 2005, but has won only once at Charlotte Motor Speedway since the track’s 2006 repave. But would a win by the 48 – does a win by the 48 – ever really surprise? The answer to that is no.

KASEY KAHNE

Johnson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports traditionally sees his up-and-down season starts come good at CMS, as Kahne has three past Coca-Cola 600 victories and a fourth for good measure in the fall race. He ran well in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race before an accident and usually has the right balance on his No. 5 Chevrolet to nail conditions both in the day and into the night.

MATT KENSETH

A win for Kenseth, who’s second in the points entering the weekend, would be only his third at Charlotte (2000 Coca-Cola 600, 2011 fall), and his first Charlotte win with Joe Gibbs Racing. For as well as JGR did at the 1.5-milers in 2013, they haven’t measured up so far this year, and as a team, JGR hasn’t won at Charlotte since Tony Stewart won the 2003 fall race.

CLINT BOWYER

Bowyer won Friday night’s Sprint Showdown, and his last points win came here in the 2012 fall race. Given his roll of good news lately (new baby, new contract), it would be hard to begrudge Bowyer getting his first win in a year and a half.

JAMIE MCMURRAY

The winner of Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race was a popular and humble one. He has two past points wins at Charlotte (his first career win, fall 2002 and also fall 2010) but has never won the ‘600. If he does, he’ll be the first driver to win both the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 in the same year since Kurt Busch in 2010.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.