Charlotte 101: Facts, figures, TV times and tires
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series are staying close to home this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for the annual Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, Sunday, on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and return of NASCAR Salutes.
Here are all the things you need to know for Sunday‘s 600 Miles of Remembrance.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile quad-oval with 24-degree banking in the corners and five-degree banking on straightaways. It’s an asphalt track.
The track held its inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on June 19, 1960 where Joe Lee Johnson took the checkered flag in the World 600.
Since then, there have been 51 different race winners in 119 races held at the North Carolina track.
Charlotte will be the fifth of 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks on the 2019 schedule, and it marks the only race on the schedule with four stages.
Kyle Larson won last weekend‘s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Only seven drivers in history have won the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 in the same year. They are Darrell Waltrip in 1985, Davey Allison in 1991, Dale Earnhardt in 1993, Jeff Gordon in 1997, Jimmie Johnson in 2003, Kasey Kahne in 2008 and Kurt Busch in 2010.
The driver leading at the 550-mile mark of the Coca-Cola 600 has gone on to win only eight of the last 24 races (33%).
With the longest race of the season ahead of us, there‘s only one driver to finish in the top 10 in all four races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019 so far. Kurt Busch finished third at Atlanta, fifth at Las Vegas, ninth at Texas and seventh at Kansas.
HORSEPOWER, AERO DUCTS, GOODYEAR TIRES
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup teams will be running the same tire setup for the Coca-Cola 600 that they ran during last weekend‘s All-Star Race. It is obvious after the racing we saw that tires will play a factor in the race results. Teams that took four tires overcame track position over those who didn‘t. Each team will also have 12 race sets of tires for the longest race on the circuit, as pit crews will play a vital role in a team‘s success.
Teams will use the 2019 rules package with a target horsepower of 550 and aero ducts as part of the aerodynamic devices.
The return of single-car qualifying began a couple weeks ago at Dover International Speedway for all three national series, including the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
NASCAR Xfinity Series teams will also run the same tire setup as Cup teams. For the Cup cars, this is the same right-side tire code that they raced in last year‘s Coca-Cola 600 and the same left-side tire code they had the last three weekends (Dover, Kansas, All-Star). The Xfinity cars will have the same right-side tire they ran at Charlotte last season combined with their 2019 Dover left-side tire code.
The left-side features an update to align it with what is run at other speedway. This was the result of a test on the 2019 rules package run last October at Charlotte.
Like all other oval tracks greater than one-mile in length, teams must run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
For the 10th year, for one weekend in the NASCAR season, Goodyear changes the branding on the sidewall of its racing tires in a show of support for the U. S. Military and fallen heroes. Goodyear will work with a new organization to replace the standard “Eagle” with “Honor and Remember” for both series this weekend.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- The last three Coca-Cola 600 winners were Kyle Busch (2018), Austin Dillon (2017) and Martin Truex Jr. (2016). The most laps led in the race is 392 by Truex, the second most is 377 by Busch and Dillon‘s two laps led is tied for the fewest for a winner in 600 history.
- Mark Martin snapped a 73-race winless streak in 2002 at the Coca-Cola 600. Jimmie Johnson won the 2019 shootout and Kyle Larson won the 2019 All-Star Race — both drivers won non-points races and are on long winless streaks (Johnson — 71, Larson — 58).
- Alex Bowman finished second in the last three races, becoming the first driver to finish runner-up in three straight races prior to his first win.
- Hendrick Motorsports has the most Coca-Cola 600 wins with 11. Richard Childress Racing is behind them with six.
- Jimmie Johnson has four Coca-Cola 600 wins, the most of any active driver.
- Four of the last 12 races were won on fuel mileage (2007, 2011, 2015, 2017).
The Coca-Cola 600 will air on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 26.
Fans can also follow along on the live leaderboard on NASCAR.com, get in-car audio on RaceView and watch in-car cameras on NASCAR Drive. Be sure to set your Fantasy Live lineup and sub in your garage pick (if needed) before the end of Stage 3 when rosters lock for good. Only Stage 1 and Stage 2 will be scored for fantasy points this week.
The Alsco 300 will air on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 25.
2018 RACE WINNER
Kyle Busch started on the pole and led 377 laps last May to score his first Coca-Cola 600 victory. There were 11 cautions for 54 laps with nine lead changes.