It's a marathon event for NASCAR, so the writers locked in their picks knowing a long night was approaching.
It has been said for many years that the Memorial Day weekend is the greatest weekend of motorsports. The reason being is because of the three huge events that happen in a 24-hour period.
It starts off with possibly the most famous F1 race of the year, the Grand Prix of Monaco. Trying to maneuver a fast car like that around the streets and tight corners of that track is difficult, but a victory at the famed track also is one cherished by many.
To kick off the afternoon, it's the most famous race of all time, the Indianapolis 500. For over 100 years, the great names hit the Brickyard to capture the biggest trophy in motorsports, wear the wreath, and drink the milk. Not to mention the new tradition of kneeling down and kissing the bricks.
For the NASCAR fans, they have to wait till their moment, and then must wait a long time for their winner. It's the longest race of the year, 100 more miles than a normal weekend.
Teams may be on their home turf, but crews and drivers have to be mentally prepared for this race, but being able to win at Charlotte, in front of all the team headquarters certainly can be considered a huge feather in the cap of the drivers who have already achieved this feat.
For our pool writers, it's their own version of a marathon, and one that will last well into the night. The points results have returned, and the picks have been finalized.
Here's who they have chose to win the Coca-Cola 600:
Misan Akuya: Jamie McMurray
So the all star race kind of sucked once again. Jimmie Johnson ran away with it at the end. But the showdown was far worse because Jamie McMurray lead every single lap.
I believe McMurray could have challenged for the big win if he ever could have gotten track position. McMurray has two point wins here his first and his most recent with several top fives and tens to boot.
This team is ready to win and the Daytona 500 & Brickyard 400 champion might just add another big race to his resume.
Rob Blount: Kasey Kahne
He’s been solid on the intermediate tracks all season long and he’s very good at Charlotte. He won this race last season and I say he does it again.
James Broomhead: Jimmie Johnson
For you this may be a marathon but for me – still recovering from the Nurburgring 24 Hours – 600 miles round a 1.5mile oval (the Nurburgring is 25km) sounds like a sprint.
Not that any of the drivers will agree with me.
Kelly Crandall: Kasey Kahne
Defending winner of the race, ran strong last Saturday in the All-Star race, and using same chassis that nearly won Kansas. Good enough for me.
Billy Fellin: Joey Logano
Bit of a risky pick here, also thought about going with Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson.
But, I thought that the 22 had a strong showing during the all-star race and Logano has an average finish of 11.75 at Charlotte. Past few races have been hit or miss, but hoping this one is a hit.
Michael Hirshbein: Kyle Busch
Christopher Leone: NO PICK
No pick sent by the deadline.
Kara Martin: Jimmie Johnson
Ryan O'Hara: Jimmie Johnson
Who wouldn't pick him here?
Dustin Parks: Kasey Kahne
I seriously have been tossing this decision around ever since the checkered flag waved Saturday night. Was Johnson a choice...please, that's like asking if the sky is blue, of course. But, I had other choices as well. As good as the Busch's were, they were up there too.
Logano even came into the picture, but after seeing one transmission fail just a couple laps in for his teammate, I passed on that.
So, decided to go with the guy who got his first win for Hendrick at this event one year ago. He's bringing a car that nearly won earlier this year, but I suspect this time it will get the job done.
Patti Rodisch: Jimmie Johnson
Sal Sigala Jr: Jimmie Johnson
Rob Tiongson: Jimmie Johnson
Gosh this is tough. As mentioned in my article, it's really been either Jimmie or Kasey's "house."
Still, I gotta think that Team 48 will grab their fourth Coke 600 win. And hopefully, FOX will have its scoring system fixed too.
Standings following Darlington:
Patti Rodisch (424) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th (0)
Rob Tiongson (397) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (1)
Billy Fellin (388) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th (1)
Rob Blount (368) Kyle Busch finished 6th (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (355) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th (0)
Dustin Parks (348) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
Ryan O'Hara (345) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
James Broomhead (343) Kyle Busch finished 6th (1)
Kelly Crandall (337) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th (0)
Michael Hirshbein (325) Kyle Busch finished 6th (2)
Kara Martin (319) Brad Keselowski finished 32nd (0)
Christopher Leone (293) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
Misan Akuya (292) Denny Hamlin finished 2nd (0)
Final Thoughts: Already track activity has happened for this race, as Denny Hamlin is on the pole for the first time since returning from his back injury. But, the big thing for these teams in this race is endurance, and most importantly patience. Track changes will be happening right from the opening green flag.
Daylight starts the race, but the fading into sunset, twilight, and eventually full darkness means crews have to keep up with adjustments, and drivers will have to be patient and let their cars come to them.
It's a red, white, and blue celebration as FOX kicks off coverage at 5:30 p.m.
Summary of Picks: