The Coca-Cola 600 is upon us for this Sunday night. This is the longest night on the schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The drivers will battle for 400 circuits around the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Memorial Day weekend race. Adjustments all night, engine sustainability, and driver focus are all very important aspects of this race if you expect to be around when the checkered flag falls.
Before we get to some further thoughts on the Coke 600, there are a couple of items in NASCAR news that came out today that need to be discussed. The first item is the rumor that Danica Patrick is nearing a deal to move over to the NASCAR ranks full time for the 2012 season. News has broken that the management team for Danica is close to completing a deal that will have Danica running full time in the Nationwide Series next season. The deal includes provisions that will allow Danica to run the Indy 500 next year as well. The rumored deal also includes provisions for Danica to dip her toes in the Sprint Cup Series for a few races next year as well. In 2013, Danica will then jump up with the big boys and run full time in the Sprint Cup Series. No word on what team the deal is being ironed out with, but Go Daddy is expected to make the jump as her full time sponsor in NASCAR.
The next driver in the news today is Kyle Busch. Rowdy is not in the news for eating way too many M & M’s, but for opening up the engine on a Lexus. Kyle was clocked and ticketed for going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone. First, this is just crazy for any person to attempt in a private vehicle on any public road. Kyle not only put himself in danger, but put any other driver on that road in danger as well. The next question that comes to mind is whether NASCAR will take any type of action against Busch? My opinion on this is that NASCAR should stay away. NASCAR should say that they expect more from the drivers, and they should set the example of safe driving on public streets and ways. As far as any other punishment, this is not NASCAR’s business. This is a personal matter for Kyle to handle himself. The only time I feel NASCAR needs to get involved in personal matters outside the track is when a driver is accused or convicted of drug convictions. I will stay away at this point of all other kinds of violent and non-violent crimes at this point, but this is not s situation to invoke anything about Kyle is on probation therefore…..
Now we turn our attention to the action back inside the catch fence. The All Star event last weekend gave us a good idea on who may have what it takes to win the 600 this weekend. I am disappointed that Carl Edwards tore up the front end of his car on Saturday night sliding through the grass after winning the event. It appeared that car was extremely fast and probably could have been brought back for the 600.
Kyle Busch is another driver that I am looking for this weekend to be extremely fast. Kyle looked good for a lot of the All Star event, but just did not make that key improvement to the car to keep hold of the lead. With the length of the race on Sunday, Busch is going to have a lot of stops and opportunities to make the car work properly to win the race. From what I saw in the All Star event, I am even making Kyle my pick for fantasy racing this week.
There is really no way to truly know how the Coke 600 is going to play out on Sunday. Charlotte Motor Speedway can produce long green flag runs, but can be a fickle track bringing out a lot of yellow flags as well. Every team in the event will have to keep up with the track to have a chance at winning. Do not be surprised if a gamble near the end of the race pays off for a driver as well. This race somehow has a way of providing surprising finishes, including a surprise driver making it to the finish line first.
I know you already know there is a lot of racing this week. Keep up with www.troubleinturntwo.com all weekend long as our group gets together for the Indy 500, and we will throw in some NASCAR coverage as well. Follow us on twitter @troublinturntwo . Keep an eye out all weekend long for your chance to win some gifts from us as well.
Wreck of the week is Landon Cassill being plowed by Derrike Cope in the Showdown: