Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone and if one of your family members passed in the service of this country, we thank them for their service.

The longest race of the year is here. Six-hundred miles around the 1.5-mile Quad-oval of Charlotte Motor Speedway is a daunting task under normal conditions but then add in 39 other cars and race conditions and the fact that this race splits between daytime and nighttime and the challenge gets even steeper. If you ask the drivers, they will tell you that this is the most physically trying race on the schedule simply because of the length and now the temperatures in Charlotte this weekend aren’t helping things as the track temps will still be well over 100 degrees at the drop of the green flag Sunday night.

At 24 degrees of banking in the turns and a quad-oval layout on the front stretch, it is most similar to Texas and Atlanta in terms of design and in terms of tire wear, Charlotte is between Texas and Atlanta in that new tires will play a role but won’t wear quite as much as they do at Atlanta. While the banking is the same in both sets of turns, Turns 3 & 4 are much tougher than Turns 1 & 2 because the entrance is narrower into three and four from the backstretch than the front stretch. So expect that corner to play a role in the race throughout the night.

In terms of packages on the car, there are a few carryovers from the All-Star race last week mainly in the tires and the hood scoops that function as the outlet for the radiator ducts. It was clear in the All-Star race that new tires made a difference on the restarts as the new sets of four tires were able to catapult those cars up through the field very quickly.

If you look through the Track Breakdown and the Practice Notes you will see all sorts of stats and valuable tidbits for this weekend’s race for every driver in the field.

Prop Bet Challenge

  1. Will Alex Bowman be the highest finishing Hendrick driver? Bowman was on fire prior to the All-Star race last weekend where he logged three straight runner up’s, but he would have to finish higher than Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s looked better as of late and Elliott’s been running pretty well himself. I’ll take the field with the three other drivers and say NO.
  2. Three of the last five Coca-Cola 600 winners have won from the pole. Will Sunday’s winner start from the front row? I’m again going to take the field and say NO. William Byron and Aric Almirola are in the front row for today’s race. I don’t have faith in Byron finishing first, nor do I feel confident in Almirola especially when Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are in the Top 5 as well.
  3. O/U 52.5 points for Kyle Busch? I’m going to take the OVER because I think this is a race he could pull out the win. He’s gone cold lately and by Busch’s standards that just means he hasn’t won in a few weeks and he’s grown frustrated with the package despite winning earlier in the year with it. He’s starting third so if you combine all the stages in today’s race with the potential that he could win, I’ll say he gets at least 53 points.
  4. With a third stage added in Sunday’s race, which driver will finish higher in more stages? Martin Truex Jr. or Kevin Harvick? I’m going to go a little contrarian here and say Kevin Harvick. I’m going to have plenty of exposure to both in DFS, but most people might be all over Truex with this prop based on recency bias and track history. But Harvick hasn’t been terrible lately and has a decent history at Charlotte as well. To mix it up and differentiate from the field, we’ll go with Harvick.
  5. A Ford driver has not won the Coca-Cola 600 since Mark Martin in 2002. Will a Ford driver win on Sunday? It is a little odd that Fords have struggled at Charlotte. But I’ll go with the trend that a Chevy and Toyota will once again win here so I’ll say NO because I’m mostly on Busch, Truex, Elliott, and Hamlin to potentially win today.
  6. O/U 1.5 drivers lead 125 laps? I typically take the under on these props, but I’m going to take the OVER. With 400 laps on tap there are plenty of laps to go around and I’m feeling good about two drivers leading 125 laps each.
  7. Which driver will finish higher? Erik Jones or Kyle Larson? Jones is starting 16th and Larson is starting 25th. With 400 laps on tap, I don’t think that’ll play a big role in the race. Ultimately I do think Erik Jones finishes higher because of his practice speeds and solid history at 1.5-mile tracks this year.
  8. O/U 14.5 lead lap finishers? I’ll take the UNDER for this one which could be rough for DFS purposes. But this is a LONG race and there are a lot of things that could put drivers off the lead lap. Normally I prefer taking the over on this prop, but not today.
  9. Will a driver win multiple stages? So to be clear, there is an extra stage for Charlotte because there are 400 laps. So there are three 100-lap stages and of course the fourth stage determines the race winner. I’ll take the logical option and say NO, no driver wins multiple stages.
  10. O/U 7.5 different leaders? I’ll take the OVER even though I also think two drivers will lead 125 laps. That only leaves 100-150 laps for other drivers to lead. But William Byron is on the pole and he may lead a few laps, but ultimately he’ll get passed. Give me eight or nine different leaders today.
(Max 3)