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NASCAR’s longest race is Sunday in Concord

May 27, 2011

Kyle Busch drives his car to the pits after
Thursday’s qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 in
Concord. Busch will try to put being pulled over
in Iredell County for driving 128 mph behind
him and win NASCAR’s longest race Sunday.

A lot of questions loom entering Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Can Kyle Busch overcome a speeding incident in nearby Iredell County to win the event?

Can Kyle’s brother, Kurt, join the names of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett and Buddy Baker as a repeat winner of the spring race at Charlotte?

Can Carl Edwards overcome a damaged race car from a post-race victory celebration in last week’s All-Star Race?

All of these and many more questions remain. All will be answered when 43 of NASCAR’s drivers climb into their cars and engage in hours of competition on the track and against each other.

One thing is certain, though. The Coca-Cola 600 holds a lot of history and a ton of prestige in winning NASCAR’s longest race.

The spring race in Concord has beared the Coca-Cola name since 1985. Darrell Waltrip was the winner of the race that year.

Waltrip won races in 1978, 1979, 1985, 1988 and 1989, which makes him the only five-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600.

The first spring race at Charlotte was on June 19, 1960. Joe Lee Johnson drove his Chevrolet into victory lane in the World 600.

David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears and David Reutimann all earned their first victories in the Coca-Cola 600.

Four of those six drivers are in Sunday’s field. Reutimann starts seventh, Gordon starts 11th, Kenseth starts 19th and Mears starts 37th.

In the last ten races, four Chevys, three Dodges, two Fords and one Toyota have visited victory lane in the 600.

Sunday’s race can be seen at 6 p.m. on Fox.

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