Coca-Cola 600: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 5/27/18
The 2018 Coca-Cola 600
Coca-Cola 600: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We get a week off due to the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, but that’s not going to stop us from getting an early look at the upcoming Coca-Cola 600. It’s my favorite race of the season due to it being the longest at 600 miles and the fact it finishes under the lights. It’s just a cool race to watch, even for casual NASCAR fans. Six of the last eight races have taken well over four hours to finish, so get your snacks ready and be prepared to make some money. Of course, in Kansas City, we handed out another winner and three of the five drivers listed finished in the top-10. Victory lane is nice.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t released when this article was posted)
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Harvick - He put money in our pocket last week and has won five races overall this season. Harvick has finished no worse than seventh in 10 of his last 11 races. Expect more success this week, as Harvick is a two-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 and has finished no worse than ninth in each of his last seven appearances at this event. In two races last year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Harvick had an average finish of 5.5 and has top-10 finishes in 13 of his last 15 appearances at this track. You’re not going to get great odds, but keeping Harvick off your card isn’t an option.
Martin Truex Jr. - Martin Truex Jr. has put together back-to-back top-five finishes and has finished fifth or better in seven of his last 11 races. Truex won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2016 and has finished no worse than fifth in each of his last three times at this event. Truex also has an average finish of 4.3 in his last six appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway overall, which includes two victories. Few have owned this track like Truex, and given his current form, there’s a good chance he wins his second race of the season.
Jimmie Johnson - I know Jimmie Johnson has provided us zero betting value this season and has been a waste of money whenever putting him on our card. However, Johnson does have top-10 finishes in three of his last five events, which is a sign he may be turning things around. Johnson is also a four-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600. Only Darrell Waltrip has won this race more. Johnson has also won eight races overall at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I get it, it’s been almost a full year since Johnson has won a race and he should be dead to most bettors. But it’s hard to ignore his history here and the fact he’s shown recent signs of life.
Kurt Busch - Kurt Busch is still looking for the first victory of the season, but he’s finished no worse than eighth each of the last three weeks and has top-10 finishes in six of his last 11 races. Busch won the Coca-Cola 600 back in 2010 and has finished in the top-10 in six of his last eight appearances here ever since. In fact, Busch has a top-10 finish in five of his last six appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he’s gone this long without a victory just once in the last four years. There’s enough here to consider putting Busch on your card this week.
Ryan Newman - If you’re looking for a big dark horse, Ryan Newman may be worth a look. Newman was in the thick of things in Kansas City before he was involved in a late wreck. He could have easily had his third top-10 finish in his last five events. Newman has also produced top-10 finishes in six of his last nine appearances at the Coca-Cola 600, which includes a ninth place finish last year. Newman has never won a race in Charlotte, but given his consistency of knocking on the door, he’s worth a shot as a dark horse who should be getting big odds.