Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN) race favorites, sleepers, fades and Charlotte track trends


  • 3 of the last 5 race winners have started on the pole in this race including two straight
  • 6 of the last 9 race winners on the oval have won from 9th or worse though too.
  • 31 lead changes last year with the Next Gen were the most since 2014 (34)
  • The 18 cautions last year with the Next Gen were the most since 2005 (22).
  • There were only 4 cautions in 2021 and 8 and 7 respectively in the pair of races in 2020.
  • 3 of the last 6 years has seen someone steal the win in the end.
  • Austin Dillon only led 2 laps in 2017, Brad Keselowski led just 21 laps in 2020 and Denny Hamlin just 15 laps led a year ago.
  • However, 3 of the last 5 years though too, did the driver leading the most laps be victorious in the end.
  • Kyle Busch swept all three stages and led 377 laps in his 2018 win only to be followed by Martin Truex Jr. who led 116 laps in his 2019 win. Kyle Larson, like Busch, swept all three stages and led 327 laps in his 2021 win.
  • In all 6 years of the stage era, did the eventual winner score stage points in the third stage (10th, 1st, 1st, 7th, 1st, 10th).
  • In 3 of the last 4 years, the eventual winner failed to score points in the second stage. Out of the last 5 years, in the races that they did score points in the second stage, they won that second stage. They also won the first stage too.
  • In 4 of the 6 years of the opening stages, the eventual race winner scored stage points including 2 wins (No points, 1st, 9th, no points, 1st, 10th).

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 10: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Kyle Larson (+400)

He dominated the 2021 race and has four Top-10 finishes in his last five Charlotte oval starts and enters off of an All-Star race win.

William Byron (+500)

He’s a hard one to figure out here. This is his home track. He’s been up-and-down however on it. Byron has one Top-5 and two Top-10’s in six Charlotte oval starts. He was fourth in 2021 and has five straight Top-10 starting spots including a pair of poles (2019, 2020) and fourth and fifth respectively the last two years. He has two wins already on the season. Can he pick up a third?

Denny Hamlin (+600)

The defending race winner has 17 Top-10 finishes in his last 21 Charlotte oval starts which is dating back to the 2010 season. He was runner-up in the 500-mile race in 2020, seventh in 2021 and that win a year ago. His last seven ‘600 finishes have been: eighth, fourth, fifth, third, 29th, seventh and first respectively.

Martin Truex Jr. (+800)

He’s a tough read this weekend. At one time, Charlotte was a playground for Truex. He had eight Top-6 finishes in a nine-race span which included two wins, a runner-up and a pair of third place finishes. He led 1,050 laps in that time frame. Since? no laps led with finishes of ninth, 29th and 12th respectively.

Chase Elliott (+900)

He’s won here in the past, just not in the ‘600. Elliott has four Top-4 finishes in his last five oval tries at Charlotte including a runner-up in this race in 2020 and 2021, a win in the 2020 return race and 33rd last year after leading 86 laps. He was also runner-up in the Fall race on the oval in 2017 too. To have five Top-5 finishes and six Top-10’s in 11 tries lands him here despite no Coke 600 win…yet.


Kyle Busch (+1100)

He has one win, 34 Top-5 finishes and 21 Top-10’s in 34 Charlotte starts including five Top-4 results in his last six tries. Trends say he’ll win as he was third in 2021 and runner-up a year ago. Third, second…first? He’s led laps in seven of his last nine Charlotte starts and is seeking a third win on the season already. You’re giving him a car that has had a Top-10 finish in each of the last three ‘600’s.

Christopher Bell (+1100)

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has a pair of Top-10 finishes in four career Charlotte oval starts including ninth in 2020 and fifth a year ago.

Tyler Reddick (+1600)

He’s scored three Top-10 finishes in four Charlotte oval tries with his only finish not in the Top-10 being in the 500-mile race in 2020 and not in the ‘600 itself. His Coke 600 finishes are eighth, ninth and sixth respectively.

Kevin Harvick (+1800)

Since 2013 (16 starts), Harvick has 14 Top-10 finishes including five straight. He’s a three-time Charlotte oval winner including two of which coming in the ‘600. His last 10 finishes in this prestigious race was first, second, ninth, second, eighth, 40th, 10th, fifth, 10th and third respectively.

Alex Bowman (+1800)

He’s quietly been good here. He’s amassed four Top-10 finishes in his last six starts including fifth in 2021 and 10th a year ago. Bowman also led 164 laps in the 2020 race that he had won before a late caution.

Brad Keselowski (+4000)

A former winner here that has four Top-11 finishes in his last six Charlotte oval tries. He was 30th last year, but his teammate did so well…

Chris Buescher (+10000)

Was running really well before a flip in last year’s race. Buescher has three Top-10 finishes (6th, 10th, 8th) in his last four Coke 600 starts.

Austin Dillon (+10000)

A former winner who has two Top-8 finishes in his last three starts and was leading at the end of last year’s race before crashing in the end.

Chase Briscoe (+10000)

While he was only 23rd as a rookie in 2021, he improved to a fourth-place finish last year.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+10000)

A strong sleeper play here. Stenhouse Jr. had four Top-10 finishes in his last six Charlotte oval starts including fifth in the 2019 race and seventh last year.

Harrison Burton (+50000)

Finished 11th last year as a rookie.

Michael McDowell (+30000)

Eighth last year.

Todd Gilliland (+100000)

16th last year as a rookie and having a vastly improved season in his sophomore campaign.

Who To Fade?

Ross Chastain (+1000)

Looked good last year in leading 153 laps. However, he was only 15th in the end which is his best career Charlotte oval finish too.

Bubba Wallace (+1800)

He has three DNF’s in his last four Charlotte oval starts with finishes of 16th, 25th, 38th, 37th, 14th and 28th respectively on the oval. That’s why I’m fading him for now despite three straight Top-5 finishes including the All-Star race.

Joey Logano (+2200)

Just one Top-5 finish in his last 10 Charlotte oval starts including being 21st, 22nd, second, 13th, 17th and 20th in his last six Coke 600 tries.

Ryan Blaney (+2200)

He was third in both races in 2020, but those are his only Top-5 finishes in 12 Charlotte oval starts. The last two years he was 13th and 29th respectively. Blaney has led eight total laps too including two laps each in four of the last five oval races.

Austin Cindric (+15000)

Team Penske has struggled here and he was only 34th last year.

Daniel Suarez (+3500)

Not one of his finer tracks. Suarez has one career Top-10 finish at Charlotte including his last five finishes being 15th, 18th, 28th, 28th, 15th and 25th respectively.

Aric Almirola (+15000)

Just one Top-10 finish in 17 oval starts and that didn’t even occur in the ‘600.

AJ Allmendinger (+25000)

Last Top-15 on the oval came way back in 2014 (12th). He has two top 10’s in 21 career Charlotte oval starts in the Cup Series.

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