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Snapshot: Coca-Cola 600

May 25, 2014, Zack Albert,

Catch up quickly before Sunday's running of the Coca-Cola 600

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What: 55th Annual Coca-Cola 600
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway
When: Sunday, May 25, 2014
TV/Radio: FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 (on air, 5:30 p.m. ET)
Distance: 400 laps (600 miles)
Time: 6 p.m. ET

Pit road speed: 45 mph
Caution car speed
: 55 mph
Fuel window: 52-54 laps


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On the front row
1. Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (194.911 mph)

2. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske No. 2 Ford (194.567 mph)

Failed to qualify

Dave Blaney (Randy Humphrey Racing No. 77 Ford); J.J. Yeley (Xxxtreme Motorsports No. 44 Chevrolet) 

Defending Coca-Cola 600 champion

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (won last year's race driving No. 29 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing)

Driver rating
Best driver rating average at Charlotte based on past 18 races:

Jimmie Johnson, 111.1 (25 starts)

Kyle Busch, 107.5 (20 starts)

Fastest in practice
First Practice: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet (193.264 mph)
Second Practice: Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford (192.802 mph)
Third Practice: Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (188.640 mph) 

Start first, finish first

Jimmie Johnson, who landed the Coors Light Pole Award in Thursday night's qualifying, is the last driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 from the first starting spot, accomplishing the feat in 2004. The previous year, he scored the first of his three victories in NASCAR's longest race after starting 37th in the 43-car field. 

All-Star standout

Jamie McMurray, who claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Charlotte in just his second start in NASCAR's top division, aims to carry momentum from his triumph in last weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The last driver to sweep both weekends with wins in the All-Star Race and 600 was Kurt Busch in 2010. 

Daily racing double

Kurt Busch will be shooting for a 1,100-mile day by competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600. He'll become just the fourth NASCAR driver to attempt both races in the same day, joining John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon in the elite group. Only Stewart (in 2001) was able to complete all 1,100 miles of the doubleheader. 

Front-row finesse

Brad Keselowski's second-fastest lap in Thursday night qualifying clinched his seventh front-row starting spot in 12 Sprint Cup races this year. Despite his tendency toward starting from the front row, Keselowski has just one Coors Light Pole Award this season, in the second race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway

Long-ago history

Joe Lee Johnson prevailed in the first 600-mile race in NASCAR history, then billed as the World 600 for a 60-car field at just-constructed Charlotte Motor Speedway on June 19, 1960. Johnson beat Johnny Beauchamp to the checkered flag by four laps to notch the last of his two victories in his brief career in NASCAR's premier series. It also marked the last win for a car numbered 89 in NASCAR's top division. 

Former Charlotte winners in field
Jimmie Johnson (6); Jeff Gordon (5); Kasey Kahne (4); Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray (2); Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Tony Stewart (1). 

Fantasy sleeper, presented by RotoWire
Kyle Larson -- Among the darkhorse contenders this weekend is Larson and the No. 42 Chevrolet team. While Larson is just a rookie driver this season, he's worth some serious fantasy racing consideration when we visit these 1.5-mile speedways. The Chip Ganassi Racing youngster has one top-5 and two top-15 finishes on these style ovals in 2014. Larson finished a respectable sixth in his first career Sprint Showdown this past weekend at CMS and won the Nationwide Series event on Saturday, and that's just likely a preview of things to come for this young driver. He should be a top-15 finisher in the Coca-Cola 600.


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