Date:Sunday May 30th, 2010
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: 5:45 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com
The All-Star race proved to be another great one for the fans while Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon had their troubles along with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. We are headed back to Charlotte this weekend for the longest race of the year when we take on the Coca-Cola 600.
Charlotte is a great track because of the speed and the ability of the drivers to run side-by-side two and even three wide through the turns and straights.
This track is a 1.5 mile true quad-oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degree banking on the straights. The frontstretch comes in at 1980 feet with the backstretch coming in at 1500.
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A key to this race is pit strategy as well. Some guys will gamble on 2 and even no tires while other guys play it safe with 4 tire stops. This is the track where you can play with that kind of strategy. There are no crazy areas of the track where tire wear is really bad like at Darlington. The tire wear is relatively even here.
One of the biggest factors, though, when it comes to running this race is the stamina of the drivers. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest NASCAR race of the year. It takes a lot out of a driver to run this race, especially if the drivers choose to run any of the other races this weekend. Tony Stewart has been known to do double duty, which has to be absolutely exhausting.
Barring any ridiculous circumstances, Jimmie Johnson was a good pick for last week. Of course, wrecks happen, and that’s why the All-Star is just so unpredictable. Those guys have nothing to lose but $1 million and their pride. Not to say that there won’t be a lot of exciting racing this weekend. but I think that we’ll definitely see smarter driving.
The guys that we see run well here are the typicals of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart. Kasey Kahne, the Busch brothers, and Denny Hamlin are also excellent contenders. They all run strong here and pending any major disasters all have a great shot at a strong points day. My pick, though, remains with Jimmie Johnson. He knows this track well and has multiple wins here as well. They call this the House of Jimmie for a reason, ya know. That may be a safe bet, but it’s definitely a smart one. He can never be ruled out here, and despite his misfortune last weekend, he definitely had a shot at the win.
Here is a recap of your current top 12 in the points:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Kyle Busch
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Greg Biffle
8. Jeff Burton
9. Kurt Busch
10. Carl Edwards
11. Mark Martin
12. Martin Truex Jr.
That’s right! Truex is in the top 12. That’s a welcome sight after coming on board with MWR. He’s doing remarkably well there, so let’s hope he can keep it up. Unfortunately, Earnhardt Jr. dropped 4 spots out of the top 12 and now rests in 16th, so hopefully he can pull it together to get back into the game this weekend.
Stay tuned for Sunday’s legendary Coca-Cola 600. It’s going to be a good one!