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Coca-Cola 600 Viewer's Guide
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Pit perspectiveEven with the new pavement, Larry McReynolds says Charlotte is still the most weather- and temperature-sensitive Nextel Cup racetrack. We always talk about keeping up with the racetrack. When Tony Stewart won his first Cup championship in 2002, he finished sixth in the 600. I was in his pit area, and his car went from loose to tight back to loose. Stewart said, "Whatever you guys did to my racecar, you did it a little too much." Every time Stewart's team adjusted the car, it wasn't exactly what he needed, but he turned what could have been a mediocre night into a top-10 finish. It wasn't very glamorous, and he didn't do a lot of media interviews. But they're the kind of nights that win championships.
|Speed Mail Steve|
Finish lineWas Matt Kenseth angry after last Saturday night's race? Absolutely. Did Tony Stewart think that Kenseth's assessment was incorrect? Absolutely. That's the Nextel All-Star Challenge. When you put $1 million out there for the winner, don't act surprised when somebody goes home angry. The Coca-Cola 600 is a whole different animal. Points are so valuable with only 26 races to get into the Chase for the Nextel Cup. If you want to be a championship contender, you can't act on any grudges against another driver or drivers. With 15 races until the Chase, there's no margin for error. Greg Biffle has made up a lot of points in the last two races, but other guys haven't been that fortunate or gotten hot so everyone has to keep emotions in check on pit road and in the racecar.
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED host and reporter Steve Byrnes has covered racing for more than 20 years, and he gives kids a close look at a real stock car and its driver with Ryan's Racecar, a 30-minute video/DVD. For more information, go to RyansRacecar.com