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Coca-Cola 600 takes place Sunday
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 5/25/2014  at  2:09:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Coca-Cola 600

Sunday, May 25 – 6:00 p.m. EDT
Charlotte Motor Speedway – Concord, NC

NASCAR gets back to its regular schedule after last week’s All-Star Race, staying in Concord, NC for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening. Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile, intermediate track completed in 1959 in a quad-oval shape. Every turn has the same 24° banking and straightaways are nearly flat with 5° banking. The frontstretch measures 1,980 feet (.375 miles) while the backstretch is just 1,500 feet (.284 miles). In the past 14 regular-season races at this track, there have been 12 different winners, with Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick, who won last year's Coca-Cola 600, being the only drivers in this span to win twice. Brad Keselowski won the Bank of America 500 last October at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Odds to Win Race

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Kevin Harvick5-to-1
Jimmie Johnson5-to-1
Joey Logano8-to-1
Kasey Kahne8-to-1
Kyle Busch8-to-1
Brad Keselowski8-to-1
Jeff Gordon8-to-1
Matt Kenseth10-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.15-to-1
Carl Edwards20-to-1
Denny Hamlin20-to-1
Tony Stewart20-to-1
Clint Bowyer20-to-1
Kyle Larson20-to-1
Greg Biffle30-to-1
Brian Vickers30-to-1
Ryan Newman35-to-1
Kurt Busch40-to-1
Jamie McMurray60-to-1
FIELD (Any other driver)100-to-1
Austin Dillon100-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.100-to-1
Paul Menard100-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.200-to-1
Aric Almirola200-to-1
Trevor Bayne300-to-1
A.J. Allmendinger300-to-1
Casey Mears300-to-1
Danica Patrick300-to-1
Marcos Ambrose300-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Matt Kenseth (10/1) - Kenseth loves the intermediate tracks, and has thrived at Charlotte in his career with 15 top-10's, eight top-5's and two victories. Since crashing at the 2008 Bank of America 500, Kenseth has finished no worse than 15th in any of his past 10 Charlotte starts, producing a stellar average finish of 8.5, and leading for at least one lap in seven of those 10 races. Kenseth has also placed in the top-10's in six of his past seven starts this season, and has top-10's in the four tracks most similar to Charlotte, finishing 4th at Fontana, 7th at Fort Worth and 10th at both Las Vegas and Kansas. With his odds much more favorable than last spring's 6-to-1 price, Kenseth deserves your largest wager for Sunday's race.

Kasey Kahne (8/1) - Kahne has a career average finish of 11.4 at Charlotte, which ranks second among all active drivers at this track, trailing only Joey Logano (10.4). Kahne has already won four times in Charlotte as part of nine top-5 finishes in his 20 starts at this venue. And this isn't all ancient history either as he placed 4th, 1st and 8th before his back-to-back runner-ups in both the Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500 last year. Kahne hasn't performed very well in 2014, but two of his top-three finishes have come at Kansas (3rd place) and Las Vegas (8th place), which are tracks very similar to Charlotte. Consider Kahne the best value play among all single-digit-odd drivers this week.

Denny Hamlin (20-to-1) - A great darkhorse pick this week is Hamlin, who was tabbed with 7-to-1 odds in the 2013 Coca-Cola 600. Despite having never won at Charlotte, Hamlin's 13.2 average finish at this track ranks fifth among active drivers. He has a current streak of seven straight top-10 finishes at Charlotte, which includes a runner-up in the 2012 Coca-Cola 600 and a fourth-place showing in last year's 600-mile event when he won the pole. Although he's had an up-and-down 2014 season and sits 12th in the points standings, Hamlin did win two races ago at Talladega and led laps in five of his other 10 starts this year. With 20-to-1 odds on Sunday, Hamlin is worthy of a small wager.

Jamie McMurray (60/1) - Another darkhorse for Saturday is Jamie McMurray, who is fresh off an All-Star Race win at this very track. McMurray has two regular-season wins in Charlotte (2002 and 2010) as part of eight top-8 showings at this track. The 38-year-old driver also had his best performance in 2014 on a track very similar to Charlotte when he came in sixth place at Fontana. At 60-to-1, a one-unit wager could pay off in a big way on Saturday.

Martin Truex Jr. (100/1) - As true longshots go, Truex Jr. is amazingly getting triple-digit odds just one year after he went off at 15-to-1 in last spring's Coca-Cola 600. Truex has not been the beacon of success at Charlotte with a pedestrian 18.4 average finish and zero top-5's in 17 starts, but he has placed in the top-12 in three of his past four races at this track, which shows he has a chance to race among the leaders here.

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