Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte - NASCAR's Longest Race
|The other good thing about today's race? Well, i misread the schedule and instead of working the day shift, I actually start later in the day, meaning I can tune in the TV to the race (one of the deals I struck with the boss when I signed on to work at the golf course.
In the meantime, I sit outside my trailer, ready to catch up with you all once again, and try to give you some news of the past two weeks while I've been absent, and tell you what to expect come race time.
Denny Hamlin was injured in an on-track incident with Joey Logano and sat out for five races. He was all but eliminated from a chance at the Championship, with his only hope being to win races. Well, he might not have fulfilled the race winning goal yet, but he certainly is headed in the right direction, with a pole position for tonight's race. Of course with 400 laps of racing ahead of him, the pole position might not mean squat, but he is doing what he can to get himself in the right position for the win.
Stewart-Haas Racing has had a rocky start to the 2013 season, and with Summer Heat and the change from FOX to TNT right around the corner, SHR is quickly running out of time. Was the expansion to a three team garage a mistake? Four teams is always a better mix, and SHR seems to be demonstrating that fully. With Danica in the third car, and Tony showing frustrations with his own employee on-track, it isn't hard to see that the move might not have been a great one for all concerned. One would hope that the further expansion to a four team garage next season, with the addition of Kevin Harvik, will work in their favor. For this year, the struggle continue, with Danica heading to the back of the pack for the start, due to engine woes, once again.
If you watched the All-Star race last weekend, you saw Jimmie Johnson win. No big surprise there, as Johnson is always stong at Charlotte, but does that necessarily mean he is a shoe-in for tonigt's win? No. In recent history, only two drivers have done the double and won both the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Kurt Busch did that in 2010, and Kasey Kahne achieved the same status in 2008. Of course, JJ has a ton of wins at Charlotte, so he should never be counted out. In fact, if you go way back to 2003, ten years ago, Jimmie Johnson accomplished the double, winning the then Winston, and the Coca-Cola 600.
Yesterday, Kyle Busch won the Nationwide race in dominating fashion. In doing so, he tied Mark Martin's reccord of 57 wins in the Nationwide Series (formerly the Busch Series when Mark was runing the famous Winn Dixie car) Don't get me started on Kyle running in the N'wide series - you all know how I hate that, but the younger Busch brother has so far failed to capitalize on a win in the Premier series. Older brother Kurt has several wins at Charlotte and his pairing with Furniture Row Motorsports seems to be just what the doctor ordered for Kurt. Weeks have gove by without a single bitchy complaint from Kurt, and instead, he is looking at options for his future. He won't be running the Indy 500 today, but watch for him to be in an Indy Car this year.
Speaking of IndyCar, the Indianapolis 500 is just over half way done as I type this. No driver is attempting the double duty this year, but AJ Allmendinger is competing in the race, driving for Penske. He started in the second row, but it currently one lap down, due to pitting during green flag racing to tighten a loose seat belt. Brad Keselowski, current NASCAR Champion was also on-hand for opening festivities. He is expected to fly back to Charlotte and be on time for the Drivers' Meeting.
Although we are several hours from the green flag at this point, I am posting this in order to give anyone watching time to get in your picks. My pick to win today is Kasey Kahne. He looked strong in all practices, and with JJ's All-Star Race winning car still in NASCAR's tech inspection, Kahne might have just that little bit of advantage needed to grab another win here.
What about you? Who is your pick to win?
Don't forget, you can win QBucks as well - get your bets in here before the race starts!