The NASCAR Cup Series will join the Truck Series and Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. This is a home game for NASCAR and these three races typically produce some exciting racing. The Truck Series will start Memorial Day weekend when they take the green flag in the NC Education Lottery 200. The Xfinity Series we be on the track Saturday for the Alsco Uniforms 300 and then NASCAR will honor the military in the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday. It should be a great weekend of racing (If that is not enough, we also have the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday morning and the Indy 500 in the afternoon).
NASCAR has had two races on 1.5-mile tracks this year (Las Vegas and Kansas). Handicapping this race should not be too difficult because all we need to do is look at the data from those two races, right? That is true for the first three Stages. The last Stage is where the field gets shaken up (Yes, there are four Stages in the Coca-Cola 600).
The race Sunday is a marathon and not a sprint. Most drivers made at least 12 trips to their pit stall in the 2022 Coca-Cola 600. That is a lot of chances to make a pit road penalty. There were also 14 cautions in the race last year and that does not include the Stage break cautions. The penalties and caution flags tend to mix up the field in the Coca-Cola 600. It is important to have a fast car, but it is more important to avoid mistakes. The drive that can have a clean race and have a pretty fast car will be in Victory Lane Sunday.
You can watch the extended highlights of the last year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte here: NASCAR Race Rewind
STATS FOR CHARLOTTE
How do we handicap the race at Coca-Cola 600? I am using the data from the races at Las Vegas and Kansas. I will combine that data with the stats from the Coca-Cola 600 last year. I want to focus on what the teams have done in the Gen-7 car and not before that. Darlington has a lot more banking and the surface is different from Charlotte, but I think some of the data from Darlington will translate into speed this week too.
Here are the stats from the races at Las Vegas, Kansas, Darlington this year and the race at Charlotte in the Gen-7 car last year…
EARLY WEEK PICKS FOR CHARLOTTE
ONE & DONE PICK: ROSS CHATAIN
DRIVER GROUP GAME PICKS: KYLE LARSON, WILLIAM BYRON, MARTIN TRUEX JR., KYLE BUSCH, TYLER REDDICK, BUBBA WALLACE, TY GIBBS, JOSH BERRY
* Use Ricky Stenhouse Jr. if Josh Berry is not available.
FANTASY LIVE PICKS: KYLE LARSON, WILLIAM BYRON, ROSS CHASTAIN, DENNY HAMLIN, MARTIN TRUEX JR. (GARAGE) KYLE BUSCH
* I will be watching CHASE ELLIOTT, TYLER REDDICK and BUBBA WALLACE in practice. They could end up in the Fantasy Live lineup this week.
Good luck this weekend!
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