Anything can happen in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (FOX, 5 p.m. ET) — NASCAR’s longest, and one of the most grueling races of the year.
This race is a totally different than what Sprint Cup Series drivers will face throughout the season, as it begins in the late afternoon and ends under the lights. The track changes dramatically during the transition, forcing teams to think ahead to keep up with the handling of their race cars.
Here are five drivers with the best chance to take home the hardware in NASCAR’s Memorial Day tradition:
Kyle Larson — He had an awesome battle with Chase Elliott to win the final segment of the Sprint Showdown. Then, Larson turned around and nearly won the Sprint All-Star Race until he was passed by Joey Logano for the lead and hit the wall with two laps remaining. Although the Coke 600 is a completely different kind of race, the 23-year-old made a statement that he could win his first Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday night.
Jimmie Johnson — He had a rough go of it at Charlotte last year, finishing 40th in Coke 600, followed by a 39th in the fall race. But, you can never count out the No. 48 in the Memorial Day classic. Johnson has three 600 victories, and he could easily earn a fifth on Sunday night.
Kyle Busch — Charlotte Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway — those are the two tracks he still has yet to win at. With how strong Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota have been so far this year, Busch has an excellent shot to win his fourth race of the season and finally break into Victory Lane in the Coca-Cola 600.
Carl Edwards — He is the defending winner of the Coca-Cola 600, and the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota already has two wins on the year. There’s no question Edwards is going to be at the front at the end of this one.
Joey Logano — After winning the Sprint All-Star Race last weekend, expect Logano to be a strong threat for the win once again. The No. 22 Team Penske driver finished 13th in last year’s 600-miler, but he did win at CMS last fall.