One of the most famous NASCAR races of the season goes down this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That’s right, it’s time for the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the season and the halfway point until the playoffs. Are you packing up and heading to the race with your friends or watching from home? Either way, we’ve got a breakdown of what you can expect at the race, drivers to watch, odds, and how to get cheap Coca-Cola 600 tickets!
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What to Expect at the Coca-Cola 600
First off, let’s talk about the weather. It’s going to be HOT in Charlotte, North Carolina this Sunday. They’re expecting a high of 95 degrees, which is absurd. And don’t even get us started on the humidity. Be sure to wear sunscreen, shades, and a hat. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – even the drivers will be hydrating more than usual, so you definitely should! Good thing the race starts later in the day! Although maybe that doesn’t help you out much if you’re camping the night before…
Speaking of camping, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Charlotte has a reputation for being a great place to camp and party. Reddit tells stories of guys bringing a hot tub, trampoline, pool table, and mobile bar to their NASCAR party by the speedway. So be sure to wander around the campgrounds, make some new friends, and check out the scene – especially if it’s your first time! You have options though depending on the vibe you want. You can bring an RV or tent, be low key and laid back, or get wild and crazy. You can choose to camp in the Infield or any of the four other campgrounds that surround the track. People who live nearby even rent out space in their yards! Do your research ahead of time to figure out where to spend the night, depending on whether you’re looking for a family friendly or a party-party campsite. There’s also a shuttle and a tram at Charlotte Motor Speedway to help you get around – check out a map of the camping areas here.
Even if you’re not camping, there’s so much more going on this Memorial Day weekend at the track! Be sure to check out all the extras that come with attending a NASCAR race. For instance, at this year’s Coca-Cola 600, your ticket includes a pre-race concert by Cheap Trick! There will also be a Pit Party where you can meet past winners and a salute to the troops. If you’re there Thursday through Saturday, there will even be driving and ride-along opportunities!
This year marks the 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600, so it’s a bit of a history-making race.
Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is actually located in Concord, NC, is a 1.5-mile oval track. At 600 total miles (or 400 laps), this is the longest race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. One of the best parts of this race in particular is getting to watch the drivers cross the finish line under bright lights. Since the race doesn’t start until about 6:20 PM, you get to watch the first part of the race in the daylight, the middle portion during dusk, and then things wrap up at nighttime.
Drivers to Watch & Odds
Kyle Busch is the reigning champ of the Charlotte Motor Speedway and he’s won three races already this year. That momentum could take him far in this race too. Look for the Toyota driver to come on strong at the finish. Last year, he led 377 of 400 laps here in Charlotte. That win granted him the title of “first driver to win at every track in the Cup Series.” He’s the favorite here, with odds of winning set at +300.
Martin Truex, Jr., who also races for Toyota, has already had two wins this year and he’s looking for a third. He won the Coke 600 back in 2016, so he knows what’s up at this track. He’s also a top pick with +600 odds.
Kevin Harvick is the second favorite to win this race with +450 odds… even though he has no wins yet through 12 races this season. Harvick won eight last year, so something is up and maybe he’s just waiting to bust loose. If the Ford driver can pull this one off, he’ll qualify for the playoffs this fall.
With odds of +2000, Denny Hamlin hasn’t won the Coca-Cola 600 yet but he seems to do well here, averaging fifth place at the track over his last four trips to Charlotte Motor Speedway. This would be his third win this season. Hey, it could happen.
Jimmie Johnson has been in a slump lately but he’s performed consistently well in Charlotte over the years. With eight wins here, he’s got the most victories at the Coca-Cola 600 of any active NASCAR driver. Johnson had zero wins last year so we’re not holding our breath, but maybe this is an opportunity for the Chevy driver to turn things around. At +3000, his odds are little longer though.
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