New Hampshire Motor Speedway Magic Mile Notebook: Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte

(Press Release from New Hampshire Motor Speedway)

NASCAR's celebrates its longest Sprint Cup event of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Photo: Courtesy of New Hampshire Motor Speedway)

NASCAR’s celebrates its longest Sprint Cup event of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Photo: Courtesy of New Hampshire Motor Speedway)


SMI Executive Chairman, Bruton Smith, Leads 2016 Hall of Fame Class

O. Bruton Smith, who grew up in the small Stanly County town of Oakboro, N.C., and founded the first motorsports company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, leads the newest class of inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Smith, the owner and longtime CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., received 68 percent of the vote from the 57 votes that were cast by the Hall voting panel (including one vote cast by race fans). Joining Smith in the Class of 2016 are two-time Cup series champion Terry Labonte; Curtis Turner, nicknamed the “Babe Ruth of Stock Car Racing”; Jerry Cook, a six-time NASCAR modified series champion; and Bobby Isaac, a 37-time winner in the Cup series, who also won the 1970 series championship.

“When I found out that I was nominated, I realized how much this meant to my family and the 15,000 employees that work for my companies,” Smith said in a statement. “Now, I realize how much it means to me.”

Logano Ready to Celebrate 25th Birthday with NHMS
Three days after celebrating his 25th birthday, 2015 Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano will help New Hampshire Motor Speedway celebrate a quarter of a century of NASCAR racing with the ultimate birthday bash. A native of Middletown, Conn., Logano will be the guest of honor on Wednesday, May 27, as the reigning September Magic Mile race winner parties with fans and special guests in the Radisson Ballroom in Nashua, N.H. Logano’s visit to the Granite State comes weeks before NASCAR returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the New Hampshire 301 on July 19.

Harvick to Attend ‘Champions Breakfast’
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick will make an appearance at the Speedway Children’s Charities “Champions Breakfast” on the morning of Friday, July 17 to kickoff NASCAR race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Emceed by NBC Host Krista Voda, the breakfast will run from 8-10 a.m. in the hospitality area behind the main grandstands, where Harvick will answer questions from retired veteran pit road reporter Dick Berggren, who currently sits on the SCC Board and is president of the North East Motor Sports Museum project.

Edwards to Visit Magic Mile Club on July 13 Race Morning
Located in the infield just behind pit road, the Magic Mile Club is offering fans the opportunity to see Carl Edwards before he suits up and climbs behind the wheel of his No. 19 Arris Toyota prior to the green flag for the July 13 Camping World RV Sales 301. Hamlin’s appearance will include a 15-minute pit stop to answer questions from fans beginning at 9:40 a.m.
On the track this week …
Celebrating its 25th anniversary as the largest sports and entertainment facility in New England, the Magic Mile is at full speed as this week the speedway will host:

· 5/28 NH Cycling Club

· 5/29 The Formula Racing Experience

· 5/30 NH Karting Association

· 5/30 Rusty Wallace Driving Experience

· 6/4 NH Cycling Club

· 6/5 NASCAR Racing Experience

6/6 NH Karting Association


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will hold its annual All-Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Next Race: Coca-Cola 600
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, May 24
The Time: 6 p.m.
TV: FOX, 5:30 p.m.
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 600 miles (400 laps)

All-Star Winner Tries To Be 8th Driver To Sweep May Charlotte Races
Denny Hamlin sent a message to the other drivers on the final 10-lap shootout of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race:

“Can’t touch this.”

The No. 11 Toyota driver led the final 10 laps of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after beating the field off pit road for the Segment 5 restart to give Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory in the event since entering the NSCS in 1992.

Hamlin’s triumph was JGR’s first on a 1.5-mile track since he won the 2013 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

If Hamlin can parlay his weekend success into a win in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he will become the eighth driver to sweep the Charlotte May races, joining Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).

Will Gordon Get Nostalgic In What Could Be His Final Coca-Cola 600?
Jeff Gordon will likely never forget the date.

May 29, 1994.

Then 23 years old, Gordon was battling future NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace for the lead in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On the final pit stop, Gordon took two tires, while Wallace took four. The gamble paid off as Gordon won the first race of his illustrious career.

Fast forward 21 years, 91 more wins and four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships later.

Gordon is now in his final full-time season, competing in what may be his last Coca-Cola 600 ever this Sunday. He has won the race three times, including his 1994 triumph, but not since 1998. Every time Gordon has visited Victory Lane in the Coca-Cola 600, he has done it from the pole.

Eleven starts into the NSCS season, Gordon ranks ninth in the series standings on the strength of seven top-10 finishes and two top-five showings.

Few Places Like Charlotte For Johnson
There are not many places Jimmie Johnson would rather race than Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 48 Chevrolet driver boasts a track-record seven wins there and claims more victories at only two other places – Martinsville (eight) and Dover (nine). Johnson – the defending spring race-winner – will attempt to visit Victory Lane this Sunday at the 1.5-mile track. He won at Charlotte from the pole last May, seizing sole possession of the track record from NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison

Endurance Athletes Do Well In NASCAR’s Endurance Race? Who Would Think That?
At 600 miles in distance, the Coca-Cola 600 held every Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the longest race on NASCAR’s schedule. Add the late-May heat and the race becomes even more grueling.

It should come as no surprise that drivers who compete in endurance athletics off the track have seen success in the Coca-Cola 600, particularly Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne. The pair has combined to win seven of the last 12 spring Charlotte races (Johnson, 4; Kahne, 3).

Cassill To Run To Hall Of Fame Following The Coca-Cola 600
Landon Cassill doesn’t need the “Insanity” workout videos to get in his cardio for the day.

He actually puts their name to shame.

Instead, Cassill will run 14 miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord all the way to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte after he travels 600 miles with his car in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday – an “endurance double.”

Throughout the day, the 25-year-old Chevrolet driver will burn approximately 4,000 calories and consume 150 ounces of fluid. Between the Coca-Cola 600 and his 14-mile run, Cassill’s heart could spike to 170 beats per minute.

In addition to racing, Cassill is an avid triathlete and competes in four triathlons per year. His goal is to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Austria.

Rowdy Returns For First Points-Paying Race
In one of the most notable returns since New Kids on the Block got back together for its reunion tour, Kyle Busch will compete in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, his first points-paying race since breaking his leg in February’s Daytona NASCAR XFINITY Series Race.

Now the only question is: Will he have the right stuff?

“Rowdy” finished sixth in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in his return to his No. 18 Toyota, but obviously the Coca-Cola 600 is a different animal. It’s 290 more laps and 435 more miles.

Busch has never won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he does have 10 top fives, 14 top 10s and two poles in 22 starts at the 1.5-mile track. His 9.8 average running position, 106.7 driver rating and 177.219 MPH average green flag speed at Charlotte all rank second in the NSCS. Busch’s career-best finish in the Coca-Cola 600 is third (three times; 2008, 2010, 2012).

Harvick Holds Commanding Lead In Sprint Cup Series Standings
These days are Kevin Harvick’s.

The No. 4 Chevrolet driver leads second-place Martin Truex Jr. in the points standings by 46 on the strength of two wins eight top-fives and ten top 10s. His eight top-two finishes tie Cale Yarborough for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record through 11 races (1977).

In the Coca-Cola 600 this Sunday in Charlotte, Harvick gets another stab at a 1.5-mile track, the distance he has dominated the last two seasons. Since 2014, Harvick claims three wins and nine top-two finishes in 15 starts at 1.5-mile tracks. He has also led 1,203-of-4,545 laps (26.5%). In four races at 1.5-mile tracks this season, Harvick owns one win and four top-two finishes. He has led 34.1 percent of all laps (407-of-1,193) at 1.5-mile tracks this year.

Harvick won last season’s fall Charlotte race on his way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. He has two Coca-Cola 600 victories (2011, 2013).

An American Salute Launches with 600 Miles of Remembrance
When drivers start their engines for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will see familiar names like “Harvick,” “Kenseth” and “Almirola” replaced on car windshields with “SGT Mracek,” “HM3 Layton” and “CPT Argel” – United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country.

All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in “600 Miles of Remembrance” on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry’s collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today.

Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media.

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