The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the signature events for the NASCAR Cup Series and it will be held during Memorial Day Weekend as usual. It is part of an all-day racing doubleheader that also features the Indy 500 on Sunday May 30.
The drivers have to be excited about this weekend’s race, not only for all the fanfare and the fan support at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but because this marks a return to a standard 1.5-mile oval, something that used to happen more frequently on the Cup Series calendar.
With seven road course races and other alterations to the schedule, there aren’t nearly as many of these, but we have one this weekend and we have odds to talk about from DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Coca-Cola 600 Betting Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Kyle Larson has been bet into the +500 favorite for the 600 miles over 400 laps on Sunday night beginning at 6 p.m. Martin Truex Jr. is the +550 second favorite on the betting board. Kyle Busch is a surprising third choice at +650, though he did win at Kansas on May 2 in the last race on a 1.5-mile track. He was also third on the 1.5-mile loop at Las Vegas.
Chase Elliott is +700 and Denny Hamlin is +750, but it sure feels like there are some good price plays in double digits for this race. Guys like Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski at +1000 make a lot of sense in these 1.5-mile races. Even Kevin Harvick at +1100. He hasn’t been priced like this at Charlotte in at least a decade and probably more.
There is a big jump after Joey Logano at +1400 and Alex Bowman and William Byron at +1600 down to Christopher Bell at +3000, so you have a lot of options this week at reasonable prices and can even take some long shots.
Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes
The Cup Series raced twice-a-year on the quad oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 1960-2017. The decision was made in 2018 to turn the playoff race into an event held on the Roval, which incorporates the road course on the infield and parts of the speedway track.
Last year, due to COVID-19, NASCAR ran two races at Charlotte, with the Coca-Cola 600 and the Alsco Uniforms 500 just four days apart on May 24 and 28. NASCAR also went back on October 11 for the Roval race.
The asphalt quad oval has flat straightaways with five degrees of banking and turns that measure 24 degrees each in banking. It is about as standard as an oval track gets in NASCAR and serves as the de facto home track for the company.
Who Has Had Success Here?
There is a lot of history at this track for a lot of different drivers. Kurt Busch will run his 20,000th mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway in this race. Kevin Harvick will do so later this season, assuming he doesn’t exit early here. Kurt has a win, eight top-five finishes, and 15 finishes in the top 10 over 39 starts. Harvick has three wins, nine top-five finishes, and 19 in the top 10.
Harvick’s 19 top-10 finishes are tied with Kyle Busch for the most all-time, but Busch’s 14 top-five finishes are the most. He’s done that in just 32 races, but has only won once, a triumph that came back in 2018.
Martin Truex Jr. is tied with Harvick for the most wins among active drivers with three. Truex has gotten all three of those since 2016, so he’s also had a lot of recent success at this track.
Joey Logano has the highest average finish among active drivers with at least nine starts with a finish of 12.2. Denny Hamlin is second at 12.5, but he has never won here. Perhaps that changes this week.
Who Has Had Recent Success Here?
This list begins with Truex and his three wins since 2016. He won the playoff race the last time it was on the regular oval and has two wins in the spring. He has 29 career starts here, but his career really took off when he partnered up with Furniture Row Racing and subsequently Joe Gibbs Racing.
This is yet another track where young Chase Elliott has had early success. He’s won once on the speedway course and has four top-five finishes and five top-10 results in nine career starts. He has only finished on the lead lap five times, so when he’s been able to finish the race with everybody else, he’s done extremely well. He also has back-to-back wins on the Roval.
Brad Keselowski has a couple of wins here. His first came in 2013, but his most recent came last year. He’s done very well throughout his career on 1.5-mile tracks.
Tyler Reddick has finished ninth and 11th in his two starts on the speedway course at Charlotte, so maybe he’s a long shot worthy of consideration.
Coca-Cola 600 Picks
Brad Keselowski tops the list this week at +1000. Keselowski’s win came at Talladega, but he was top-five at Las Vegas and Kansas. He won one of the two spring races here last year and also has wins at Kansas, Las Vegas, Kentucky, and Atlanta to his name over the years.
Keselowski’s teammate, Ryan Blaney, also makes the cut for me at +1000. Blaney won at Atlanta earlier this season. He was also fifth at Las Vegas and finished third in both spring Charlotte races last year. He was fourth at Atlanta and Texas. He’s done very well on the 1.5-mile tracks, too.
One guy to watch in matchups here is William Byron. He won at Homestead-Miami and has finished inside the top 10 on every oval except one and that was in the Daytona 500. He was outside the top 10 in both road course races. Byron is +225 in his Group Matchup at DraftKings with Logano, Alex Bowman, and Christopher Bell. He’s also -115 in his head-to-head matchup with Bowman.
The Coca-Cola 600 will be on Fox with a 6 p.m. ET start time on Sunday May 30.
For a different perspective on the Coca-Cola 600, check out this ATS YouTube video from Brian Blessing: