The Backstretch Blog: Charlotte's Web

For the second straight week, NASCAR is at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. But this time, it counts. The Coca Cola 600 is also the series longest race. Which makes it unique.

Because the race is not only long, but it also starts in the day and finishes at night. Often times drivers and teams that at good early, are no where to be found at the end. It is hard to keep up with the track, especially when you are spanking the field. But if you wait too long to adjust, it could be too late.

"We practice during the day and race at night," said Martin Truex, Junior. "Charlotte changes a ton so the Coca-Cola 600 is going to be a real challenge."

But it's not just the cars that have to keep up, 600 miles can also be a challenge for the drivers.

"It's just tough to keep your focus and keep you patience for a 600 mile race," said Denny Hamlin. "There are a lot of winners from the 600 that have gone a lap down at some point or another because the track goes through such a change from daytime to the night.  It's about being patient with your car and your competition for the first really 400 miles."

Kevin Harvick won the 600 one year ago. But really when you talk Charlotte Motor Speedway, you have to start with Jimmie Johnson. He is a six time winner at the track (in points races), three of those coming in the 600. His teammate Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon are also pretty good there. Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte are also past 600 winners.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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