“It’s a great test of man and machine.” That is what you will hear at the beginning of old racing footage of the then “World 600″ at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Once a year, NASCAR decides to beef up the mileage by one-hundred and see who can survive the great endurance test. In the past, this race was run in it’s entirety in the daytime. After lights where installed at the speedway, the race became even more of a challenge as the six-hundred miles began at dusk and finished up under the night skies. This made both driver and crew chief forced to stay alert for the entire race as the track could slip away from them in an instant.
[media-credit name=”Brad Keppel” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]In past years, you could always count on numerous engine and mechanical failures throughout the course of six-hundred miles. Mainly in the final stretch of the race. Now, with all the advances in technology in the mechanics and engines, there seem to be less and less failures every year. The result of that is more cars left running which leaves the possibility pit strategy still in the picture. That includes fuel mileage. We see it just about every other week, where fuel mileage comes into play in the end of the race. Whether a yellow falls or not, the mention of fuel at the end of the race seems to happen more often than not. It offers a chance for a possible first time winner or a surprise winner to pop up and steal a win away from one of the big boys of the Cup Series.
Charlotte Motor Speedway was commonly refereed to in the mid 2000’s as, “The House That Jimmie Built” as then Johnson seemed to be the only driver that was able to win at the speedway. Also, his team’s sponsor, Lowe’s, also sponsored the track when Jimmie dominated at Charlotte. With the type of performance the five time champ showed last Saturday night in the All Star race, you may want to keep Jimmie in mind as a driver that could pop up and win the race.
With how dominate the Roush-Fenway cars have been this year on mile and a half tracks this season, you can’t ever count them out as proven once again with David Ragan winning the showdown and Carl Edwards winning the All Star. Don’t count of Biffle or Kenseth either. Greg Biffle lead a good majority of the first segment of the All Star race and Kenseth, for a while, had the fastest car on the track. Each one of these drivers would be great picks for the weekend.
If you want some sleeper drivers for the weekend, then look no further than here. Kasey Kahne won this race back in 2006. Kahne and his Red Bull Racing Team have really been picking up the pace as of late with fast cars. Although they don’t always finish the races, you can never count out a driver with speed to win a race. Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr and Jamie McMurray would all be good picks for this weekend as they have all either won or had good runs at Charlotte in the past.
Look for an exciting marathon this weekend in Charlotte!
Picks for the weekend:
Top Gear 300- Kyle Busch
Coca Cola 600- David Ragan