We make a stop this week in North Carolina for the Coca-Cola 600, one of my favorite races during the entire NASCAR season. It’s neat getting a race that starts under the sun but finishes under the lights. Of course, this race debuted in 1959 and has produced 14 multiple winners.
Anyway, after picking the winner for six straight weeks, we've hit a rough patch with two weeks of nothing, so let's get back in victory lane.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on your card. (Odds weren’t available when this article was posted.)
Jimmie Johnson - The only driver to win more Coca-Cola 600s than Jimmie Johnson is Darrell Waltrip with five. Johnson has won this event four times with his most recent victory coming in 2014. Johnson finished third last year and won the 2016 Bank of America 500. So, if you're paying attention, Johnson has finished fourth or better in five of his last nine appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. We’ve cashed on Johnson twice this season, let's make it a third time.
Brad Keselowski - Brad Keselowski has produced top-10 finishes in six of his last seven appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and won the 2013 Bank of America 500. Keselowski was fifth in last years Coca-Cola 600 and has four top-10 finishes in his last five appearances at this particular event. Keselowski has been runner-up in two of his last three events overall and was nice to us during the STP 500. Have to like Keselowski and his chances given his history on this track.
Kevin Harvick - Kevin Harvick has finished fifth or better in four of his last five events and is still looking for his first win of the season. Well, Harvick won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2013 and 2011, and he was runner-up last year. Overall, Harvick has finished ninth or better in 11 of his last 13 appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and that includes a victory in the 2014 Bank of America 500. Harvick has a chance to become the ninth driver to win this event at least three times. I like his chances given his consistent history on this track.
Martin Truex Jr. - Martin Truex Jr. is fresh off his second victory of the year and has posted top-10 finishes in four of his last five events overall. Truex is also the defending champion at the Coca-Cola 600 and finished fifth in his 2015 appearance. In fact, Truex was the first driver to win this race in under four hours since Kasey Kahne back in 2012. Truex has five top-10 finishes in his last nine appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex has never won back-to-back races in his career, but there's a chance he does given his success on this track overall, especially during this unique race.
Kyle Busch - I’ve had Kyle Busch on a few of my cards recently, and he's come close with top-five finishes in three of his last six races. Let’s try it again given the how close hes come over the last month or so. Busch has never won a race on this track, but he has finished eighth or better in 13 of his last 19 appearances at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch has had more success in the other North Carolina race, but he has finished sixth or better in the Coca-Cola 600 four times since 2008. Here's to Busch winning his first race since last year's Brickyard 400.