NASCAR adds fourth stage to the Coca-Cola 600
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed on NASCAR's announcement that they will be adding a fourth stage to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
RECAP: Coca-Cola 600 features fire, rain and a No. 3 win
Austin Dillon wins the Coca-Cola 600 on a fuel-mileage gamble after wrecks take out Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski and rain causes a delay.
Lynyrd Skynyrd to perform before Coca-Cola 600
BUY TICKETS: See the Coca-Cola 600 live! CONCORD, N.C. -- Fans will roar and the red, white and blue will wave before the green flag on May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Iconic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will salute America with the ultimate Memorial Day Weekend mix of rock and racing in front of a captivated audience in the Coca-Cola 600 Concert presented by Speed Perks. The 2006 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees will perform hits including world-renowned, Southern rock anthems "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" for Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders on the Pit Party stage on pit road. "We can't wait to get to rocking with all the race fans," lead singer Johnny Van Zant said. "This is going to be one of the coolest concerts we'll play all year. It's not often that you get the chance to perform before something as true-blue American as the Coca-Cola 600 . Everybody had better be ready because it's going to get wild." The Lynyrd Skynyrd concert is part of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway , which also includes the May 20 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. Platinum-selling entertainer Justin Moore will perform a free pre-All-Star Race concert presented by Rayovac Batteries and Kwikset.
Coca-Cola 600 Scanner Sounds: 'There's oil everywhere!
Take a listen to the best in-car audio from NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
O'Donnell: 'Really positive' reactions to Coca-Cola 600 stage news
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O'Donnell says that NASCAR has had great reactions from the teams with the addition of a stage for the Coca-Cola 600.
Scott Miller: Added stage is 'something special' for Coca-Cola 600
NASCAR's Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller called into SiriusXm NASCAR Radio Monday morning to discuss the decision to add a fourth stage to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Truex Jr. rewrites history, breaks records with Coca-Cola 600 win
RELATED: Truex Jr.'s history when leading 100 or more laps Martin Truex Jr .'s dominating Coca-Cola 600 win on Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway was an important victory for the No. 78 team. It marked Truex's first 2016 win and virtually punched his ticket to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . It was also record-breaking -- in more than one category. Below are the feats accomplished by Truex & Co. on Sunday night in North Carolina. • Truex's 588 (of 600) miles led was the most ever in a NASCAR race. • His 392 laps led were the most in a Coca-Cola 600 . Jim Paschal held the previous record with 335 laps in the front of the field during the 1967 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . • The No. 78 driver's dominant win earned him a perfect driver rating of 150.0, a first for any Sprint Cup Series driver at Charlotte. • The race spanned 3 hours, 44 minutes and 5 seconds, marking the quickest Coca-Cola 600 event ever. • Drivers in Sunday's race averaged a speed of 160.655 mph, the fastest average speed for a Coca-Cola 600 event in race history.
Stewart unveils special Coca-Cola look for Darlington
RELATED: See all the Darlington throwbacks BUY TICKETS: Darlington CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tony Stewart joked that "I can't remember what I had for lunch most days" but the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion said he can recall the first time he saw Bobby Allison race. "It was at Scottsburg, Indiana," Stewart said Wednesday during an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "They ran Late Models, Street Stocks and Bombers or something like that that night. "It was him in a Coke-sponsored car. He was running around the bottom the whole time; I was yelling 'Run the top!' I wanted to see him run the top once. But he was set up for the bottom I'm sure and I remember he ran eighth. "That was probably 30-35 years ago but I can remember it." Stewart will pay tribute to the NASCAR Hall of Fame driver during this year's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway with a throwback paint scheme similar to that run by Allison between 1970-73. The car was unveiled for the first time at the Hall Wednesday. Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet will bear the Coca-Cola logos and feature the same red and gold paint scheme that adorned Allison's familiar No. 12 entry. "I knew Bobby because he was a NASCAR driver. My family, we barely could afford to race the go-karts we were racing let alone go do something else. ... So I went with a buddy of mine; I didn't know Bobby was going to be there that day. But out front of the race track on the marquee it said Bobby Allison was racing and the date and I thought 'Wow, that's going to be cool.' Some two dozen throwback schemes for this year's race, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 4, have been announced. Track officials say they expect the entire field to feature a nod to the past in some form or fashion. Allison won 84 times in NASCAR's premier series and won the championship in 1983. He won the Southern 500 at Darlington four times, twice (1971-72) while running the red-and-gold scheme. But what helped make the Hueytown, Alabama-based driver a fan favorite was his willingness to go race anywhere, at any time. Race fans that were not able to travel to Daytona or Darlington, Bristol or Riverside could see Allison compete at the tiny half-mile tracks across the Midwest and Northeast. Stewart, Allison said, is cut from the same cloth." I appreciate his enthusiasm for the sport, his ability, his willingness to go anywhere anytime and run different kinds of tracks, different kinds of equipment," Allison, now 78, said. "I ran different kinds but I never really got into the dirt Super Mods or anything. I did run them just a little … never dug into that, which he has. And he's won. I won in quite a few, but not all of them. I look at that and really appreciate him." Allison spent his entire driving career darting between weekly short-track events while competing in NASCAR's premier series."I felt like any lap was just more experience, more training for me," he said. "Also any differences helped me adjust when the track changed, the weather changed. So much of that would throw the drivers; it helped me adjust to whatever went on anywhere I was racing." Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing , will retire from Sprint Cup competition at season's end. It's a fitting way, he said, to honor Allison in what will be his final Southern 500 start. "He was fierce in a race car," Stewart said. "You knew that if he was out there … you were going to have to be on your game to beat him that day. "(Darlington) is one of two Cup tracks that we run that I've not won a Cup race at … this is my last chance to cross another one, and a big one, off the list. And it's going to be in a really cool car too." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Mark Martin will drive pace car before Coca-Cola 600
RELATED: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class revealed " Event photos Mark Martin 's back in a car this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- this time, however, it will be in the pace car. Freshly minted as a selectee in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, Martin jumped at the opportunity to log laps again before the Coca-Cola 600 -- a race he won in 2002. Martin will lead the field to green for the 57th running of the Coca-Cola 600 and said, "When the speedway called to ask me if I'd do it, my first reaction was 'Hell, yeah!' " "Originally I'd planned to be at Indy, but now I get to do the 'double' in a way, and I can say I'll be driving at Charlotte," Martin said. " Charlotte Motor Speedway was always my favorite race track. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of success there, including winning a Coke 600. Bruton and Marcus always put on a fabulous show, and this will be cool to lead the field to green in front of thousands of fans that I enjoyed racing for all those years." WATCH: Stewart completes Indy-Charlotte 'double' Several drivers, notably including current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch , have competed in the Memorial Day Double, racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 . Stewart was the first to complete all 1,100 miles in one day in 2001. Martin plans to see the start of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday before heading to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.)
Staff picks for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
Kasey Kahne : The Coca-Cola 600 is such a different animal that rewards mental acuity, pure tenacity and physical fitness. Kasey Kahne has those qualities and won NASCAR's endurance event three times, and with two top-five finishes already this season, this is where he breaks out of his 59-race winless rut. -- Kathy Sheldon Joey Logano : It'll be a clean Charlotte sweep for Sliced Bread, who got his mojo back during the Sprint All-Star Race. Last week's $1 million win probably felt spectacular -- the feeling may be equal Sunday night when Logano celebrates his biggest NASCAR victory to date. -- Brad Norman Carl Edwards : He's the defending race winner and has posted five straight top 10s at Charlotte. Kevin Harvick is the only other driver who can say that, but the No. 19 pit crew gives him the edge -- by a footlong Subway sandwich at the finish. -- George Winkler Kevin Harvick : This one's an easy pick for me. There's a reason why Harvick sits atop the standings and that's exactly where he'll stay after cruising to another Coca-Cola 600 win. -- Maggie MacKenzie Joey Logano : The most recent Charlotte winner, Logano's No. 22 Ford seems ready for 600 miles of action, as he topped two of the three rounds of qualifying, scoring a second-place starting position. With a fast car and plenty of momentum after his All-Star win, look for the Team Penske driver to punch his ticket to the Chase Sunday with his first '16 victory. -- Jessica Ruffin Martin Truex Jr . : Forget about what has gone wrong late in races for the No. 78 team, Truex has consistently been one of the best on the intermediate tracks this season. The Furniture Row Racing driver will cash in on his pole run and strong pit spot for his first win of 2016. -- RJ Kraft Joey Logano : Becomes first driver to sweep All-Star race and Coca-Cola 600 since Kurt Busch in 2010. Logano drives the No. 22 Ford for team owner Roger Penske, Busch's team owner in '10. -- Kenny Bruce
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