On what could be considered the biggest day in American motorsports, the NASCAR Cup Series will cap off Sunday’s pre-Memorial Day racing schedule with the traditional Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Cup Series event will follow the Indianapolis 500, which will be run from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier Sunday afternoon. Green flag at the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval, which features 24-degree turns and a day-to-night racing setup, will commence at 6 p.m., and will be broadcast on FOX.
This will be the 124th Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is tied with Darlington for fourth-most all-time in NASCAR’s 75-year history.
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Jimmie Johnson, who drives for Legacy Motor Club after returning to the Cup Series after a two-year hiatus, has the most Charlotte wins of any active driver with eight. Currently, Johnson, a former seven-time Cup Series champion, is a long shot to win this weekend, sitting at +15000 odds, according to FanDuel.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are tied for second for most wins by an active driver at Charlotte with three each.
Truex, who drives the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, has one win this year, taking the checkered flag at Dover. He’s currently +850 to win Sunday.
Harvick is currently third in Cup points this season, and even though he’s winless, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford does have four top-5 finishes. He’s currently +1800 to win the 600-miler.
FrontPageBets takes a look at drivers to watch in the Coca-Cola 600 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sunday, 6 p.m.; FOX).
(All odds courtesy of FanDuel and are subject to change)
Pick to win: Denny Hamlin (+700)
Denny Hamlin is the defending Coca-Cola 600 champion, winning last year’s race for the first time in his career.
The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, could become the seventh different driver to win back-to-back Coke 600s, joining a list of Hall of Famers that includes Buddy Baker, Darrel Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Johnson.
Hamlin, who is fourth in Cup Series points this season, won three weeks ago at Kansas and has five top-10 finishes.
In 31 career starts at Charlotte, Hamlin has 20 top-10s and 11 top-5s to go along with an average finish of 11.9.
Top-3 pick: Kyle Larson (+120)
Coming off a win at last week at North Wilkesboro Speedway, Kyle Larson is looking to become the first multi-time winner of the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same season. Larson, who drives the No. 5 Hendrik Motorsports Chevrolet, won both races in 2021.
He dominated the All-Star Race, building an 11-second lead at one point on the 0.625-mile short track. It was Larson’s second win this season; he also won at Richmond in April.
Larson has six top-10 finishes in 13 starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and has led 398 laps. His average finish is 16.8.
Top-10 pick: Bubba Wallace (-135)
Bubba Wallace enters Sunday’s 600-mile race fresh off a second-place finish at last week’s All-Star Race.
And while he’s never had a top-10 finish in Charlotte, the driver of the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota, is on a roll this season, earning four top-5 finishes, including three in a row.
In six Charlotte starts, his best finish was 14th in 2021.
Odds-on favorites to win the Coca-Cola 600
Kyle Larson +420
William Byron +600
Denny Hamlin +700
Martin Truex Jr. +850
Chase Elliott +900
Ross Chastain +900
Kyle Busch +1100
Christopher Bell +1200
Tyler Reddick +1600
Bubba Wallace +1700
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Mike Szvetitz is the General Manager and Content Director for FrontPageBets.com. Szvetitz is a 23-year veteran reporter and editor, including serving 17 years as a sports editor in Florida, Alabama and Virginia, covering everything from preps to pros. His "View From The Lazy Boy" column won multiple state and national awards. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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