Coca Cola 600 Picks to Win – Driver Odds to Win

Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date: Sunday May 25, 2014
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: 6 pm ET

by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper,

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Well, who would’ve thunk it? Jamie McMurray won the Sprint All-Star after a pretty much dominating performance on Saturday night. It was interesting that Jimmie Johnson really didn’t have much for them. In his post-race interview, Johnson said that his car just wasn’t up to par, and that the team learned some good information to adjust the car for this weekend.

One driver coming on strong was Kevin Harvick. He seems to be coming on strong again. These intermediate tracks seem to treat him well. Charlotte is a cookie-cutter intermediate track. It is a 1.5 mile oval with a 1980 foot frontstretch and a 1500 foot backstretch. The corners are banked at 24 degrees with a slight 5 degree banking on the straights. It’s a fast track and one that lends itself to the potential of long green flag runs. Because of that, tires are important. I think that drivers realized that during the All-Star race. Guys who didn’t get 4 tires were passed within a few laps. Clearly, there’s an advantage to 4 tires, especially with long runs. One interesting aspect to this track is that although it’s cookie-cutter in nature, the drivers seem to drive this track much more aggressively than most intermediates. There’s a lot of hard driving particularly out of turn four and into the first turn.


Now, who better to attack this style of track than Kevin Harvick? He was definitely giving McMurray a run for his money. I think with a longer race, Harvick will triumph. This is, after all, the longest race of the year. Harvick has the stamina and apparently the car to do it. While Jimmie Johnson always fares well here, it seems like his team has a lot of work ahead of them to rack up the win this weekend. That’s not to say that he won’t be a factor, but definitely do not expect the domination that we’re used to seeing from him here. Another guy to keep your eyes on is Jeff Gordon. He had a very strong car prior to breaking something and ending up in the garage. If the team gets the car back to All-Star status, he will be contending for the checkers this weekend. Here’s the breakdown of your potential winners this weekend:

My Pick to Win the Coca Cola 600: Kevin Harvick
Middle of the Road Pick: Jamie McMurray
Dark Horse Prediction: Kyle Larson

McMurray showed that he had something for everyone on Saturday night. His car was seet up perfectly, and he drove an excellent race. Assuming he repeats that performance, he will have a ride to beat. Kyle Larson is a bit of a long shot, but the kid is getting better. He’s taking risks and has proven that he is coming into his own. Now, keep in mind that last weekend was not a points race. It was a race for the fans! This weekend, we resume points racing, where there are still quite a few drivers vying for a win to make their spot in the Chase.

Here are your current top 16 after last week’s race:

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Kyle Busch
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Carl Edwards
6. Joey Logano
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Ryan Newman
9. Greg Biffle
10. Brian Vickers
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Kyle Larson
14. Austin Dillon
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Kasey Kahne

The points will likely move around some more. I do think that we will see a good amount of aggressive driving. We are edging closer and closer to the Chase with still a slew of drivers who haven’t locked down a position as of yet. Between earning wins and those with wins earning those valuable points, look for there to be a little bit of animosity forming on the track. Stay tuned for an awesome Coca-Cola 600!

Coca Cola 600 Betting Odds

Jimmie Johnson 6-1
Kevin Harvick 7-1
Kyle Busch 8-1
Jeff Gordon 8-1
Matt Kenseth 8-1
Kasey Kahne 9-1
Brad Keselowski 9-1
Joey Logano 9-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15-1
Clint Bowyer 20-1
Carl Edwards 20-1
Denny Hamlin 20-1
Greg Biffle 25-1
Kyle Larson 25-1
Tony Stewart 25-1
Kurt Busch 35-1
Ryan Newman 35-1
Brian Vickers 40-1
Jamie McMurray 50-1
Martin Truex Jr. 60-1
Marcos Ambrose 75-1
Paul Menard 75-1
Austin Dillon 80-1
Danica Patrick 400-1
Field (All Others) 400-1

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