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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.