2008 Coca Cola 600 Preview and Picks

Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date: Sunday May 25, 2008
Track: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Time: 5 pm ET
Channel: FOX

The Coca-Cola 600 is probably the most prestigious race on
the circuit next to Daytona, and we’re looking for another great race this
weekend. Sunday’s race will consist of 43 of the best drivers in the Cup
series. It is also the longest race of the season and definitely
affects the drivers as the night progresses. The race is a little bit odd
because it starts at 5 pm on Sunday night, but it is Memorial Day weekend,
so at least the drivers get a little break after the race.

This is the same track that we raced at last weekend where we saw a spectacular Showdown and All-Star race. It’s a 1.5 mile quad-oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degree banking on the stretches.

Historically, Jimmie Johnson has owned this track. He has won this race three times, not to mention his multiple fall race wins. Jeff Gordon has one this race twice, but both of those wins were back in the ’90s. That’s not to say that Gordon can not win at Lowe’s. He is the defending winner of the fall race here. The defending champ of the 600 is Casey Mears. With the exception of this win, though, he has not also done well here. Tony Stewart performs well here but has yet to pull out a win for the spring race.

If we’re talking about guys to watch this weekend, I’d say that Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are the two biggest contenders. It does not matter about Johnson’s history or how his season is going. He always proves himself at this track with at least a top 5 finish, if not a win. Kyle Busch proved last weekend that he has what it takes to get a win here. He won the truck race last Friday night without any problem. He was winning the All-Star and driving away with a 1.5 second lead before his motor dropped a cylinder. If Busch can keep his Gibbs equipment from failing, then I think he has a better shot than Johnson. My pick is Busch. Johnson is my second pick.

It’s not to say that guys like Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Jr. do not have a shot, but they have shown, especially in the All-Star last week, that their equipment is just not up to par. Jr. and Gordon just faded to the middle of the pack. They aren’t showing the ferocity that Busch has been showing lately. I think that Stewart has a better shot than either Gordon or Jr. based on this fact alone.

Your top twelve in points are as follows:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Jeff Burton
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Carl Edwards
8. Tony Stewart
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Jeff Gordon
11. Greg Biffle
12. David Ragan

Kyle Busch is our points leader as well as being a contender for virtually every win. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a driver with this much drive and this much passion coming into every weekend. Although his not-so-humble introduction during the All-Star race was not received all that well, Busch fan or not, you have to have respect for someone who can drive as well as this kid.