The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: The Coca Cola 600 at CMS
This is such a great weekend for race fans, starting this morning with the Monaco GP, then the Indy 500 and the night cap Coca Cola 500. Three of the sports crown jewels across three different series and a day of amazing racing.
The longest of those races belongs to NASCAR and if we are honestest, its probably the least prestigious. But that is what makes tonight race so intriguing. What makes it interesting is the length, tackling 600 miles at Charlotte is not for the faint at heart.
"It’s gonna go from hot, sun out to that twilight kind of moment to dark and cooling off and the groove coming back down to the bottom," said Joey Logano. "All of that stuff will definitely come into play and now we’ve got this PJ1 stuff, which Lord knows what’s gonna happen with that, so there is a lot to take into consideration when we’re out there on the track and the adjustments we make will be key during every pit stop."
And that's the thing, adjustablity is as important as being fast tonight, because the track undergoes so many changes over 600 miles.
"The track typically goes through a lot of changes over the course of the night," said Ryan Newman. "Keeping yourself in the game is really what it is all about. "
When the game starts, Kyle Busch will be on the pole. Winning the 600 is one of the few things missing from his impressive career.
“It’s important to me, but I’m not sure it’s important in the grand scheme of things,” Busch said. “It’s certainly important to me, and I would love to get that knocked out of the way and to be finished with it until another new track comes up on the circuit."
Logano, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski round out the top five, but let's be honest everyone is watching the guy who is starting 39th, because even with that terrible starting spot, you can never count out Kevin Harvick, He has, after all, won nearly half the races this season. And their starting position has nothing to do with speed. They have plenty of that, the four just couldn't make it through inspection.
"I think everybody knows that the 4 team is out to push things as much as they can and win races, so it’s disappointing to start in the back," said Crew Chief Rodney Childers "It’s disappointing not to have Cheddar (Smith, car chief) here, but we’ll get through it as a race team and we’ll have a good car on Sunday.”
The green flag is set to drop on the Coke 600 at about 6:18 pm. You can watch the race on FOX Tri-Cities WEMT.