Coca-Cola 600 Goes to Kyle Busch

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Kevin Harvick(4) hoped to celebrate the Coca-Cola 600 as his second three-win streak of the year. However, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s crew failed to get his car through pre-qualifying inspection. As a result, Harvick was relegated to the 39th starting position. Despite working his way into the top 10, the three-peat was not to be.

Harvick slammed the wall on lap 83, just 17 laps short of the 100 laps that made up Stage 1. His car suffered enough damage to send it to the garage and out of the event. He finished 40th.

Kyle Busch(18) and Joey Logano(22) started on the front row for the annual 600-mile test of man and machine. Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the longest race on the NASCAR circuit every year on Memorial Day Weekend. At the drop of the green flag, the two driver’s ran side-by-side for a lap until Logano pulled into the lead.

The Team Penske driver, hoping for a Penske Double, could not hold the lead as pole-sitter Kyle Busch moved to the front on lap 5. Penske driver Will Power won the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day and back to back wins for the Penske organization would be huge.

Photo Credit: Allie Davison / NASCAR Digital Media

Last year’s 600 winner, Austin Dillon, blew a right-rear tire on lap 37. The damage to his car likely cost Dillon a chance at being the first repeat winner of the race since Jimmie Johnson won 3 in-a-row from 2003-2005.

The story of the night focused on Kyle Busch. He won the 1st Stage leading 94 of the 100 laps.

Stage 1 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
18 Kyle Busch 10
12 Blaney* 9
42 Larson 8
78 Truex Jr. 7
48 Johnson 6
10 Almirola* 5
14 Bowyer* 4
11 Hamlin 3
17 Stenhouse Jr.* 2
20 Jones 1

* Ford Fusion Drivers

Stage 2

On the restart to begin Stage 2, again more Kyle Busch. This time he led 85 of the 100 laps in the stage. Trouble nearly marred the event when Jimmy Johnson(48) spun 21 laps into Stage 2. Johnson’s car was turned slightly by contact with Denny Hamlin(11) and he could not save it in the middle of the corner. Running near the front of the pack, Johnson was lucky not to make contact with another car. Logano, running further back, spun to avoid Johson and he too escaped without causing a massive wreck. Logano got a slight bump from Erik Jones(20) as his yellow Pennzoil Ford started to go around.

Stage 2 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
18 Kyle Busch 10
78 Truex Jr. 9
42 Larson 8
11 Hamlin 7
14 Bowyer 6
10 Almirola* 5
9 Elliott 4
48 Johnson 3
31 Newman 2
20 Jones 1

* Ford Fusion Drivers

Stage 3

With 400 laps to run to complete the 600 miles, NASCAR adds a 3rd Stage of 100 laps for the 600. The Final Stage, also 100 laps, concludes the event. Kyle Busch led every lap of Stage 3 to exceed his stage win total for the year, all in one race.

Kyle Larson(42) spun unassisted 27 laps into Stage 3. Ruining what had been a strong evening to that point. With 22 laps to go in the stage Ryan Blaney’s(12) engine expired and the oil escaping the broken power plant caught fire. Blaney escaped uninjured, the car took a dousing from the fire extinguishers of the track safety crews.

Stage 3 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
18 Kyle Busch 10
20 Jones 9
2 Keselowski* 8
11 Kurt Busch* 7
41 McMurray 6
11 Hamlin 5
95 Khane 4
78 Truex Jr. 3
17 Stenhouse Jr.* 2
31 Newman 1

* Ford Fusion Drivers

The Final Stage

Kyle Busch finished his domination of the Coca-Cola 600 leading 377 of the 400 laps. He won by a comfortable 4-second margin over Martin Truex Jr.(78). The win was significant for Kyle, he now owns a Cup Series victory on every track the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits.

Next week its the Pocono 400 at 2:00 pm Sunday on Fox. The following week the circuit pays it first visit to our hometown track. The FireKeepers Casino 400 fires off at 2:00 pm Sunday, June 10th. The Lasco Press will be on-hand at the track to bring you all the excitement of racing in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk / Getty Images

 

 

 

Results of the Coca-Cola 600

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Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 18 Kyle Busch 400
2 78 Martin Truex Jr.
3 11 Denny Hamlin -13.598 400
4 2 Brad Keselowski -16.777 400
5 48 Jimmie Johnson -17.164 400
6 1 Jamie McMurray -17.925 400
7 42 Kyle Larson -20.548 400
8 41 Kurt Busch -26.093 400
9 88 Alex Bowman -28.140 400
10 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11 9 Chase Elliott -1 399
12 14 Clint Bowyer -1 399
13 10 Aric Almirola -1 399
14 21 Paul Menard -1 399
15 19 Daniel Suarez -1 399
16 43 Bubba Wallace -1 399
17 6 Matt Kenseth -1 399
18 34 Michael McDowell -1 399
19 20 Erik Jones -1 399
20 95 Kasey Kahne -1 399
21 13 Ty Dillon -1 399
22 22 Joey Logano -1 399
23 47 AJ Allmendinger -1 399
24 15 Ross Chastain -2 398
25 38 David Ragan -4 396
26 72 Corey LaJoie -4 396
27 96 Parker Kligerman -6 394
28 0 Landon Cassill -6 394
29 37 Chris Buescher -6 394
30 55 Jeffrey Earnhardt -11 389
31 23 Gray Gaulding -12 388
32 66 Timmy Hill -17 383
33 51 BJ McLeod -27 373
34 3 Austin Dillon -52 348
35 31 Ryan Newman -56 344
36 12 Ryan Blaney -122 278
37 32 Matt DiBenedetto -143 257
38 7 JJ Yeley -209 191
39 24 William Byron -261 139
40 4 Kevin Harvick -327 83

 

Points/Playoff Standings

Position Driver Points Wins
1 Kevin Harvick* 485 5
2 Kyle Busch 573 4
3 Joey Logano* 506 1
4 Martin Truex Jr. 430 1
5 Clint Bowyer* 421 1
6 Austin Dillon 244 1
7 Brad Keselowski* 437 0
8 Kurt Busch* 429 0
9 Denny Hamlin 429 0
10 Kyle Larson 382 0
11 Aric Almirola* 376 0
12 Ryan Blaney* 375 0
13 Jimmie Johnson 327 0
14 Erik Jones 314 0
15 Alex Bowman 299 0
16 Chase Elliott 296 0
*** Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs cut-off ***
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.* 296 0
18 Paul Menard* 263 0
19 Daniel Suarez 245 0
20 Jamie McMurray 231 0

* Ford Fusion Drivers

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines, a freelance technical writer, and a contributing author to a consortium that provides “how to” articles for eBay Buying Guides. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve on the Lasco Press with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.