NASCAR is heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the iconic Coca-Cola 600. The 600-mile race will be 400 laps split into four stages of 100-100-100-100. Kyle Larson qualified on pole position and will lead the pack to green. The race will be aired at 6 pm ET on FOX. Here is the Charlotte preview!
Kyle Larson snuck past Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by -0.007 of a second to land the pole. Those two will be on the front row with Chase Elliott and William Byron behind. Row three will have Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon. Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr. will be in row four, making all four Hendrick cars in the top ten. Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain round out the first ten.
Memorial Day Paint Schemes
With it being Memorial Day weekend, NASCAR will continue to do its part in honoring the lives of military personnel who have died in the line of duty. Each driver will have a different name above their windshield signifying an individual. Some teams take it the extra step by running special red, white, and blue schemed cars. Here are a couple of names I’d like to talk about since most of them probably won’t be during the race itself.
Corey LaJoie #7
Corey LaJoie and the number 7 Spire team will be honoring Col James R. Nichols. Nichols was an F-4, F-16, and F-100 fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. He was awarded many medals for his service including a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.
Bubba Wallace #23
The #CocaCola600 at @CLTMotorSpdwy signifies 600 Miles of Remembrance, recognizing fallen service members who gave their lives in active duty service defending our country.— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) May 26, 2021
On Sunday, we remember and honor. #MemorialDay2021 🇺🇸@DoorDash | #TeamToyota pic.twitter.com/0urJc4z68o
Bubba Wallace will have 19 names on his car. The name on his windshield belongs to SSG Paul Velazquez. Velazquez served in the United States Army for over a decade before he and fifteen others were killed when their helicopter was shot down in 2003. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
Alex Bowman #48
Honored to have Capt. Matthew Brewer ride with me on the Ally 48 this weekend 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/1NrUciWqWK— Alex Bowman (@Alex_Bowman) May 29, 2021
Alex Bowman will be honoring Capt. Mathew H. Brewer. Brewer served in the United States Marine Corps where he was deployed in Japan and Korea. He later became a Special Operations Officer at Marine Corps University in Virginia. Brewer received many medals for his service including the National Defense Service Medal and the United Nations Medal. He passed earlier this year after battling severe symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the year and because of that, it is the hardest to pick winners for. There are a handful of drivers who have really been heating up over the last few races. Drivers like Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., and William Byron come to mind. Particularly Larson who has finished second in the past three races and has been dominant all season. Charlotte has been one of his best tracks in the past and with him starting on the pole? That number 5 is going to be the one to beat.