Coca-Cola 600 Betting Predictions & Picks for the 2024 Race

by | Last updated May 23, 2024 | nascar

Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date: Sunday May 26, 2024
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: 6pm ET
Channel: FOX

What Did We Learn From Last Weekend?

In case you missed it, the highlight of the All-Star race was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. punching Kyle Busch in the face. What made it even greater was that Stenhouse threw a jab in the post-race interview, letting Busch know that he just isn’t as good as he once was. I think there’s a song about that somewhere. Even funnier was probably Stenhouse parking his wrecked ride in the #8 stall, seemingly sending a pretty clear message. Anyway, Stenhouse waited for hours to get his revenge because the tunnel is blocked off at North Wilkesboro Speedway during the race. He was forced to stay and watch the remainder of the race out of his car after Busch did him dirty on lap two. While Kyle comes up with some of the same excuses, the bottom line is that he just turned Stenhouse because he was mad. Stenhouse made it three wide when the race started and raced hard. I guess Kyle doesn’t think that’s how racing is supposed to work because he clearly was upset that everyone was getting that intense in the opening lap(s). I guess we could pull a Denny Hamlin and attempt to look at the telemetry in Busch’s car to validate that he very clearly made it a point to chase Stenhouse down and turn him. It was clear as day, and apparently on Busch is the only surprised that anyone would insinuate such an evident truth.

Before Busch got decked, we had Joey Logano dominating the majority of the race after starting in the pole position. He led a total of 199 of the 200 laps. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of Logano’s strength or a sign that Goodyear and NASCAR need to have a chat. There wasn’t much in the way of tire wear, leaving these guys the option of basically running whatever they wanted for green flag runs. For Logano, it didn’t matter. This was his second All-Star win of his career, leaving him $1 million richer. He was followed by Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney as the top 5 drivers. Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell, and Kyle Busch finished out the top 10 spots. Ultimately, it was all about hanging on to the lead. Paul Wolfe made a smart move in keeping the option tires and not switching out, keeping Logano propelled to the front of the field. Hamlin was frustrated because he recognized the same issue from last year. There just wasn’t an ability to pass. He could get to him, but he just couldn’t get past him. Whether it was the tires or the benefit of the clean air, or a combination, it’s not clear. But these guys struggled all night to make passes. Larson was one of the few that didn’t. He just remains impressive in pretty much whatever he does. He got a helicopter ride to Hendrick’s private jet to get from Indy to North Wilkesboro by 7:15pm and get to his car. He had to drive from the back of the pack since Kevin Harvick had to qualify his car, but that didn’t mean much to him. Unfortunately, he started to fade there at the end and just didn’t have the speed to get to the front. Nevertheless, a top 5 finish wasn’t too shabby.

Where Are We Headed This Weekend?

This weekend, the drivers and teams are headed to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is a much different scenario than North Wilkesboro, but track position is still the key. In these intermediate tracks, drivers need the clean air to get out front and stay there. This track is a 1.5 mile asphalt quad-oval. It has 24 degrees of banking in the turns and 5 degrees on the straights. There’s lots of speed here with a big ability to pass, unlike this past weekend. Drivers will need to be smart about their pit road strategy and not speeding. This will be one of the biggest detriments to drivers this weekend. They need to qualify up front too. That’s going to be very important. Look at the qualifying runs this weekend and that will give us a good indication of where these guys are going to be throughout the day.

Odds and Value Picks

When it comes to picking the winner, we have a good group of guys to pick from. In the last three races, there is a definitive top dog. He might need a case of Icy Hot after last weekend, but Kyle Busch has the best average finish with a 3.7. He’s followed by Tyler Reddick with a 6.7 finish. Busch’s nemesis, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., has an average run of 8.7 followed by Alex Bowman with an average finish of 9th. It’s not always about the finishes, but it’s definitely a good starting point to determine consistency and strength of a team at this track. I don’t think that the All-Star results have any bearing on this weekend, but we will see a culmination of finishes across the year that will really provide some insight. Let’s take a look at your potential winners for the big 600 this Memorial Day weekend with nodds provided by Bovada:

  • Winner: Denny Hamlin +650
  • Mid-Range Pick: Bubba Wallace +3000
  • Dark Horse: Michael McDowell +12500

McDowell doesn’t have stellar stats at any track in particular. In fact, he’s been all over the board at Charlotte, but there’s something that’s clicking with this team this year. McDowell is just running a good race virtually every week. He’s cracked the top 10 multiple times and seems to be getting stronger as the races go on. He led 4 laps in this race last year and had an 8th place run in 2022. This year will be a solid year for him here. Bubba Wallace is also another driver developing consistency. He’s been doing a good job of being competitive at every style of track. At Charlotte, he’s not necessarily the best with an average finish of around 23rd. But those finishes are reflective of an inexperienced driver. I believe that we are going to see some more calculated strategy and more mature racing this weekend for the 600 out of this entire team. Wallace’s part-owner Denny Hamlin will be looking to get to victory lane. Last year, Hamlin struggled, but he’s got a couple of wins and innumerable top 5s and 10s. He’s had his share of frustration this year, but he’s also had his share of success. I think that this weekend is going to be a memorable one for him in a good way. On his quest to finally capture a championship, Hamlin is going to be unrelenting in his pursuit. Let’s see where he stands in the standings since our last points race:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. William Byron
  6. Tyler Reddick
  7. Ty Gibbs
  8. Ryan Blaney
  9. Alex Bowman
  10. Ross Chastain
  11. Brad Keselowski
  12. Chris Buescher
  13. Kyle Busch
  14. Chase Briscoe
  15. Christopher Bell
  16. Bubba Wallace

Keselowski was clearly the biggest winner since our last points race. His win has secured his position in the playoffs and also gained him 4 spots in the standings. Elliott, Reddick, Buescher, and Busch all lost a spot while Blaney and Bell dropped 2 positions. Bell is barely hanging on and has his work cut out for him. If he follows through on my projection, Wallace can get himself off the bubble and secure himself a place in the playoffs as well. This weekend is set to be one to remember. Memorial Day weekend is always a good time at the track and NASCAR does a phenomenal job of remembering those who gave all. Stay tuned for what’s sure to be a night to behold as the drivers and teams battle it out for the victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway!