NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway The Purse: $9,421,275
Sunday, May 28 6 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 5:30 p.m. ET Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 600 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 100), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 200), Stage 3 (Ends on Lap 300), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300
Charlotte Motor Speedway The Purse: $1,317,391
Saturday, May 27 1 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway The Purse: $767,542
Friday, May 26 8:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)
NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR & Coca-Cola salute the military and their families
As it has each year for nearly a decade, the NASCAR community will come together to formally honor and recognize the United States Armed Forces during Military Appreciation Month through the annual NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola program.
This marks the ninth season of NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola celebrating the service and sacrifice of U.S. military members and their families through a multitude of at track integrations, original content features and fan engagement opportunities.
“The NASCAR industry and our fans relish the opportunity to rally around NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola to recognize the immeasurable sacrifice United States service members and their families make to protect our freedom,” said Michelle Byron, Senior Vice President of Partnership Marketing, NASCAR. “Especially as we continue celebrating NASCAR’s 75th anniversary and recalling so many memories made along the way, it’s important to reflect on the bravery and selflessness of countless individuals who provide us this great privilege.”
Tributes began at Dover Motor Speedway (May 1), where the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps performed prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race.
New to the celebration this year, inside the NASCAR Experience fan zone footprint at Kansas and Darlington was a No. 75 show car draped in a NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola livery that featured white space for fans to write thank-you messages to military members.
To conclude NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola, NASCAR and Coca-Cola will again host Gold Star Families during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the show car with fan messages will be on display. Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will continue the tradition of all 40 NASCAR Cup Series cars featuring the name of a fallen service member on the windshield.
“In partnership with NASCAR, Speedway Motorsports and the racing community, Coca-Cola North America is proud to honor our country’s service members and their families at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend,” said Chris Bigda, Director of Sports Marketing at Coca-Cola North America. “During this year’s Coca-Cola 600, we are honored to recognize recipients of The Gold Star – paying tribute to the military members and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.”
In addition to those mentioned above, other NASCAR Salutes activities across the industry include:
NASCAR social and digital platforms will feature a bevy of dedicated stories and content features, including the story of Lyndon Amick – a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver who enlisted in the National Guard and served in Afghanistan, a tribute to NASCAR’s history of honoring the Armed Forces throughout its 75 years, Xfinity Series driver and Navy Officer Jesse Iwuji visiting with fellow Navy members, and more. Fans can view it all at nascar.com/salutes and engage on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
Discounted grandstand tickets are available to military members throughout NASCAR Salutes and all season long with NASCAR MILTIX Presented by GEICO. Active military and veterans can verify their status through SheerID and purchase tickets by visiting NASCAR.com/miltix.
At NASCAR events during the month of May, service members from local bases will have access to complimentary grandstand tickets and unique VIP experiences made possible by Vet Tix and the NASCAR Troops to the Track Program.
For a sixth season, Mack Trucks, the “Official Hauler of NASCAR,” will wrap one of its NASCAR haulers in support of NASCAR Salutes leading into Memorial Day weekend. Fans can vote for one of several different paint schemes now through May 2 at contests.macktrucks.com/nascar-salutes. Mack will reveal the winning scheme on its social media channels leading into the Coca-Cola 600 weekend.
Charlotte Motor Speedway continues its annual Mission 600, pairing the Coca-Cola Racing Family and other drivers with military bases to educate the NASCAR community about the day-to-day lives of the men and women who serve.
Xfinity, a Proud Premier Partner, will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield headers on their race cars during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to showcase their company’s commitment to hiring veterans, National Guard and reserve service members, and military spouses who bring unique skills and experiences to Comcast NBCUniversal.
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will also display red, white and blue windshield decals on all trucks racing in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
AMR, the “Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR,” will feature the NASCAR Salutes branding on its NASCAR safety trucks and safety team helmets throughout the program.
Continuing its tradition, Goodyear will replace its iconic “Eagle” sidewall design with “Honor and Remember” during the Coca-Cola 600 in recognition of the organization working closely with the industry to honor Gold Star Families who have lost family members as a result of serving.
During the Coca-Cola 600 broadcast, FOX will display the name of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of a special tribute titled “FOX Sports Remembers,” an initiative begun in 2009.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with the help of JDV Productions, will feature roof decals on all race cars honoring fallen service members during the Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway on May 27. Whelen Modified Tour cars will also carry separate NASCAR Salutes decals for the May 6 race at Monadnock Speedway and the May 20 race at Riverhead Raceway.
The ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East will feature NASCAR Salutes decals on cars racing at Dover Motor Speedway (April 28), Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (May 13), Flat Rock Speedway (May 20), Kansas Speedway (May 6) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 26).
Charlotte Motor Speedway is all set for Memorial Day Weekend racing
Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the NASCAR Cup Series for the 64th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 28 at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, in a weekend filled with remembrance of the brave men and women who are serving or have served in our military. The annual event takes pride in honoring our service members and their families and this weekend is expected to be another memorable experience for all.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the most historic venues on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The famous facility is a 1.5-mile, paved oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns and is located just outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte Motor Speedway (oval) has hosted 124 NASCAR Cup Series races all-time – tied with Darlington Raceway for the fourth-most in series history; behind Daytona (152), Martinsville (149) and Richmond (133). The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was on June 19, 1960 and the inaugural event was won by driver Joe Lee Johnson driving a Chevrolet for car owner Paul McDuffie.
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 124 Cup races have produced 48 different pole winners, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with 14 poles (1961, 1972, 1973, 1974 sweep, 1975 sweep, 1976 sweep, 1977 sweep, 1978 sweep, 1982) – the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most poles by a driver at a single track.
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB’s Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series poles at Charlotte Motor Speedway with four (2002, 2004, 2009, 2014). Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is the most recent pole winner at Charlotte, winning the pole for last season’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed of 183.680 MPH.
Nine of the 48 NASCAR Cup Series Charlotte Motor Speedway pole winners are active this weekend.
Active Charlotte Pole Winners (9) Poles Seasons
Jimmie Johnson 4 2014, 2009, 2004, 2002
Denny Hamlin 3 2023, 2017, 2013
Kyle Busch 3 2018, 2014, 2008
Kevin Harvick 2 2017, 2016
Kyle Larson 1 2021
William Byron 1 2019
Martin Truex Jr 1 2016
Aric Almirola 1 2012
Brad Keselowski 1 2011
Charlotte Motor Speedway has also produced 54 different NASCAR Cup Series race winners in the 124 races, led by Jimmie Johnson with eight victories (2003 summer, 2004 sweep, 2005 sweep, 2009 Playoffs, 2014 summer, 2016 Playoffs).
A total of 10 of the 54 NASCAR Cup Series Charlotte Motor Speedway race winners are entered this weekend, with five of the 10 still looking for their first victory of the 2023 season – Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon.
Active Race Winners (10) Wins Seasons
Jimmie Johnson 8 2016, 2014, 2009, 2005 sweep, 2004 sweep, 2003
Martin Truex Jr 3 2019, 2017, 2016
Kevin Harvick 3 2014, 2013, 2011
Brad Keselowski 2 2020, 2013
Denny Hamlin 1 2022
Kyle Larson 1 2021
Chase Elliott 1 2020
Kyle Busch 1 2018
Austin Dillon 1 2017
Joey Logano 1 2015
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is the defending winner of the 2022 Coca-Cola 600 and will look to become the seventh different driver to win back-to-back Coke 600s; joining Buddy Baker (1972-‘73), Darrell Waltrip (twice: 1978-’79 and 1988-’89), Neil Bonnett (1982-’83), Dale Earnhardt (1992-’93), Jeff Gordon (1997-‘98) and Jimmie Johnson (2003, ’04, ’05) – Johnson leads the series in consecutive Coca-Cola 600 wins with three straight.
All of the on-track action for the NASCAR Cup Series will begin with practice and Busch Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET, and both events can be viewed on FS1.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a great place for first-time winners
When it comes to getting your first win in the NASCAR Cup Series, nowhere beats Daytona International Speedway with 22 first-time winners. But when it comes to 1.5-mile tracks, none have produced more first-time winners than Charlotte Motor Speedway with 10 – fourth-most all-time behind Daytona (22), Talladega (13), and Martinsville (12)
The most recent driver to win his first career NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, who collected his first checkered flag back in 2017. Seven times the Coca-Cola 600 has been the first race a driver has won in the NASCAR Cup Series – 1961, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2017.
First-Time Cup Winners at Charlotte Date
Austin Dillon Sunday, May 28, 2017
David Reutimann Monday, May 25, 2009
Casey Mears Sunday, May 27, 2007
Jamie McMurray Sunday, October 13, 2002
Matt Kenseth Sunday, May 28, 2000
Bobby Labonte Sunday, May 28, 1995
Jeff Gordon Sunday, May 29, 1994
Charlie Glotzbach Sunday, October 20, 1968
Buddy Baker Sunday, October 15, 1967
David Pearson Sunday, May 28, 1961
The 2023 season has yet to see a first-time winner this year, but that could change this weekend. In the Modern Era (1972-Present), the most first-time winners the NASCAR Cup Series has produced in a single season is five and it has occurred three times (2001, 2011 and 2022).
Note: Must compete in every race of the season to be eligible for the Playoffs or be granted a waiver by NASCAR (*).
Nine different drivers have earned their spot in the 2023 Playoffs by virtue of their wins – William Byron, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. A postseason spot is reserved for the points leader, if winless, which is currently Ross Chastain this season.
With hefty point cushions over the Playoff cutoff, Kevin Harvick (+130), Ryan Blaney (+111), Brad Keselowski (+95) and Chris Buescher (+59) sit comfortably heading into this weekend. On the other hand, Bubba Wallace (+23) in 15th and Chase Briscoe (+5) in 16th the final transfer spot on points will have their work cut out for them if they want to hold on to their positions.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman is in 17th – the first spot outside the Playoff cutoff – just five points back from Briscoe and 28 back from Wallace. Prior to being sidelined Bowman had the best average finish in the series this season. Not far behind Bowman is Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez, who sits just 13 points back from the postseason cutoff.
Heading into this weekend at Charlotte, five drivers that made the Playoffs last season are currently below the postseason cutline in the driver standings outlook – Bowman (17th), Suarez (18th), Austin Cindric (20th), Chase Elliott (28th) and Austin Dillon (31st).
Of the drivers looking for their first win this season, nine of them have previously won a NASCAR national series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Jimmie Johnson (NCS eight wins), Kevin Harvick (NCS three wins), Brad Keselowski (NCS two wins, NXS four wins), Austin Dillon (NCS one win, NXS two wins), Chase Elliott (NCS one win, NCTS one win), Alex Bowman (NXS one win), Ryan Blaney (NXS one win), Ty Gibbs (NXS one win) and Ross Chastain (NCTS one win).
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
Kyle Larson looks to become first driver to win All-Star and Coke 600 in same season multiple times – Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson dominated the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race last weekend at the revitalized North Wilkesboro Speedway and this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway he will attempt to become the first driver to win the NASCAR All-Star Race and the Coc-Cola 600 in the same season multiple times. Nine drivers total have won the All-Star Race and Coke 600 in the same season – Kyle Larson (2021), Kurt Busch (2010), Kasey Kahne (2008), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Jeff Gordon (1997), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Davey Allison (1991) and Darrell Waltrip (1985).
Hendrick Motorsports announces Alex Bowman’s return to racing – Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, will return to NASCAR Cup Series competition this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway after recovering from a fractured vertebra.
Bowman, 30, suffered the compression fracture April 25 while competing in a sprint car at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. On Tuesday, he drove a Cup Series car 170 laps during a NASCAR-approved medical evaluation test at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
“It’s a boost for all of us to have Alex return to the No. 48 car this weekend at our home track,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He’s still 17th in points, which says a lot about how well the team performed at the start of the year. Alex has worked hard to rehab the injury and come back strong, and I look for him to continue having a championship-caliber season.”
Bowman remains eligible for the 2023 Playoffs after NASCAR granted a medical waiver.
Netflix documentary ‘Race: Bubba Wallace’ wins Sports Emmy Award – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced this week the winners of the 44th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards which were live streamed at Watch.TheEmmys.TV and available on the various Emmy® apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku (full list at apps.theemmys.tv/).
The Netflix documentary, Race: Bubba Wallace, has won a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Series.
Coca-Cola 600 sells out for second consecutive year – Charlotte Motor Speedway has announced the 64th running of the Coca-Cola 600, this year’s Memorial Day Weekend is sold out of reserved grandstand seats for the second consecutive year. Only a limited number of standing-room-only and premium terrace box tickets remain for the May 28 NASCAR Cup Series showdown at America’s Home for Racing. Infield camping and Camping World Racing Resort is also sold out.
“With so much great on-track excitement and a rousing pre-race show, last year’s Coca-Cola 600 was pure spectacle, and fans took notice,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We saw strong renewals and have been pacing ahead of our year-over-year sales since the checkered flag fell last season. Our team can’t wait to welcome another packed house as we prepare to write the next memorable chapter in the history of this crown jewel event.”
Fans from across the nation and 18 foreign countries – as far away as Australia, Tanzania and the Czech Republic – have secured tickets to the iconic Memorial Day Weekend showcase of speed this year.
Jake Owen to headline rockin’ weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway – GRAMMY-nominated and Academy of Country Music Award-winning artist Jake Owen is set to headline an action-packed weekend of music and motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 26-28.
Jake Owen will rock the Circle K Speed Street stage on Saturday, May 27, after the ALSCO Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and Coca-Cola 600 Busch Light Pole Qualifying. And the AC/DC cover band Dirty Deeds is set to kick the weekend off with a Friday night show after the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on May 26.
“Memorial Day Weekend is the official kickoff to summer, and what better way to get the party started than with three days of music, entertainment and racing here in the heart of NASCAR country,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Circle K Speed Street always delivers the fun, and we can’t wait to bring the energy back to America’s Home for Racing and set the stage for a can’t-miss weekend.”
Celebrities and dignitaries to watch-for at Charlotte Motor Speedway – A star-studded lineup of celebrities, dignitaries will attend the highly-anticipated 64th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. No stranger to cutting loose and going fast, Danny McBride, the creator and star of HBO’s popular series “The Righteous Gemstones,” will get behind the wheel as the honorary pace car driver and lead the field to the green flag to start the Coca-Cola 600.
“Fast cars and all the Coca-Cola a man can drink? How could I say no,” McBride said. “I’m so honored and excited to be a part of the action.”
The Sunday fun kicks off with the legendary Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald performing a pre-race concert before the patriotic salute to the U.S. Armed Services and the green flag for the Coca-Cola 600.
Dignitaries for Friday’s N.C. Education Lottery 200:
Honorary Starter: Thomas Martin, Luck E Rewards winner
Grand Marshal: Mike Beach, Luck E Rewards winner
Pace Car Passenger: Stephen Francis, Luck E Rewards winner
Honorary Race Official: Terri Rose, Deputy Executive Director of Brand Management & Communications
Dignitaries for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300:
Honorary Starter: Ben Fox, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Alsco
Grand Marshal: Samantha Busch
Presentation of Colors: Concord Police Department Honor Guard
Invocation: Master Sgt. Monty Self, US Air Force Retired
National Anthem: Cash Crawford
Dignitaries for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 include:
Honorary Race Director: Cameron Sexton, Tennessee Speaker of the House
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Danny McBride, “The Righteous Gemstones”
Honorary Starter: Nancy Mace, South Carolina Congresswoman
Grand Marshals: Legendary Coca-Cola Racing Family Drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty, alongside Lisa Marie Higgins, Regional Southeast President, and Executive Director, National Capital District
Lt. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue to deliver the State of Freedom Address during patriotic pre-race salute – Lt. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue, a highly decorated United States Army officer, is set to deliver the State of Freedom Address prior to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
With more than 30 years of service, Donahue has held numerous leadership positions. He is currently the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg. Outside of military circles, he may be best known as the last international military personnel to leave Afghanistan during America’s military withdrawal from the country in August of 2021.
In a show of unity among the nation’s military branches Donahue will be joined on stage during the address by Capt. Andrew C. Hertel (U.S. Navy), Maj. Gen. Michael G. Koscheski (U.S. Air Force) and Capt. Richard E. Batson (U.S. Coast Guard).
Other military elements scheduled as part of the pre-race salute include:
82nd Airborne Band: perform God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Carolina on my Mind
U.S. Army, Fort Bragg: Aerial Blackhawk demonstration, Howitzer demonstration
Armed Forces Color Guard and drummers from the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”: Presentation of Colors
U.S. Army Chaplain Stephen F. Townsend: Invocation
U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard: Small Arms Volley
U.S. Coast Guard Band; Musician Petty Officer First Class (MU1) Joel W. Baroody: Taps
U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Aircraft MC Band: National Anthem
In addition, a service member will be paired with each driver in the starting lineup for driver introductions on the pre-race stage.
Team/Driver Charity Events & Fan Days to attend while in Charlotte this week – Each year the teams open up their doors and invite fans to visit their shops to see the inner workings of what it takes to compete at the highest level in stockcar racing – NASCAR. Here is a list of charity events and Fan Days the teams are having this week:
May 25: Ryan Blaney Family Foundation “Driving Fore Good” event at Top Golf Charlotte-University. The event will include a two-round Top Golf tournament, a $10,000 hole-in-one contest, a silent auction, dinner and a meet and greet.
May 25: Bundle of Joy Fund hosts Fast Cars & Guitars at BoatYard Lake Norman featuring live music from Nashville recording artist, Matt Stell and special guest Dee Jay Silver. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. ET and the event starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.
May 25: Joey Logano’s Concert for Charity featuring Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Mitchell Tenpenny, Mitch Russel and more. The event will be held at Coyote Joes in Charlotte starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. The proceeds will go to the Joey Logano Foundation which supports children and young adults during times of crisis, focused around the foster care system.
May 27: RFK Racing 5K will start at 8:30 a.m. ET and last until 12:00 p.m. ET at Frank Liske Park in Concord. Fans can take photos with the No. 17 Nexetol Ford Mustang and proceeds will benefit Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation.
May 22-25: Alex Bowman Racing Fan Days will take place from 9:00 a.m. ET until 5:00 p.m. ET in Mooresville, NC.
May 22-27: Spire Motorsports Fan Days will take place Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET. The shop will be open to the public for viewing and there will be an autograph session on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET.
May 22-27: Team Penske Fan Walk will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET Monday-Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET Thursday-Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Fans will get to enjoy the Team Penske Fan Store including some exclusive opportunities for merch and raffles.
May 23: AM Racing Fan Fest will include an autograph session, team merchandise sales, partner displays, music, food truck, race vehicle displays and more. It will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET and run until 7:00 p.m. ET.
May 25: JR Motorsports Fan Day will include three autograph sessions, Dale Jr.’s No. 88 car unveil for NXS race in Bristol, a JRM Match Game Show and prizes. The fan day will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET and conclude at 3:00 p.m. ET.
May 25: Front Row Motorsports’ Boot Barn Fan Day will take place at its race shop from 10:00 a.m. ET until 4:00 p.m. ET. The fan day will include a tour of Front Row Motorsports as well as autographs from drivers.
May 25: Stewart-Haas Racing Autograph Session will take place Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET at their shop. Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, and Ryan Preece will be in attendance.
May 26: RFK Fan Day will take place at their shop from 10:00 a.m. ET until 2:00 p.m. ET. For the first time in the team’s history, there will be guided tours of the RFK shop. Additionally, there will be live music, food trucks, racing simulators, prizes, giveaways and more.
May 26 & 27: Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest will take place Friday and Saturday and will include driver appearances, food trucks, activities for kids, photo opportunities, engine building demonstrations, pit stop exhibitions, guided tours and more. The event will run on Friday from 11:00 ET until 6:00 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. ET until 3:00 p.m. ET.
Milestones to watch for this weekend – Two drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series will be making career milestones starts this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
2017 Coca-Cola 600 winner and Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon will be attempting to make his 350th NASCAR Cup Series career start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dillon is currently 31st in the driver standings and could use a win this season to help his Playoff hopes. If Dillon were to win this weekend, he would become the fourth different driver all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series to win on their 350th start; joining Lee Petty (Martinsville, 1959), Bill Elliott (Rockingham, 1992) and Tony Stewart (Talladega, 2008)
Todd Gilliland will also be attempting to make his 50th career NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Xfinity Series is ready to honor Memorial Day Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway
After a week off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be heading back to the high-speed action at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 27 for the Alsco Uniforms 300 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
This weekend will be a special one, as NASCAR and Xfinity Series teams will honor the military and their families as they compete in the 12th race of the 2023 season.
Over the years, there have been 77 NASCAR Xfinity Series races held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, dating back to the inaugural event on May 29, 1982, which was won by one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers, Harry Grant.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile asphalt paved oval that has produced 38 different race winners and 50 different pole winners in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Twelve Xfinity Series races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Brad Keselowski in 2018.
As with many tracks, Kyle Busch is etched in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Xfinity Series record books with the most wins (nine), top fives (19), top 10s (22), lead lap finishes (22) and laps led (1,475). Plus, he is the only driver to win in each of the three NASCAR national series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Three previous winners are entered in this weekend’s Alsco Uniforms 300 – Kyle Busch (nine wins: 2004, 2005, 2008 sweep, 2009, 2010, 2013 sweep, 2020), Ty Gibbs (2021) and Josh Berry (2022). Defending Charlotte winner and JR Motorsports driver, Josh Berry, has put multiple wins the past two seasons, but is looking for his first victory of this year.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series’ on-track action at Charlotte Motor Speedway will kick off with practice at 3:35 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying at 4:05 p.m. ET on Friday, May 26 – both events will be televised on FS1.
10 different winners in last 10 Xfinity races at Charlotte
A hot streak of 10 different winners has swept over Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, dating back to 2015.
Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon was the last repeat winner in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, sweeping both series events in 2015. Since then, nine other drivers have added their names to the list bringing the different winners streak to 10 – Dillon (2015), Denny Hamlin (2016), Joey Logano (2016), Ryan Blaney (2017), Alex Bowman (2017), Brad Keselowski (2018), Tyler Reddick (2019), Kyle Busch (2020), Ty Gibbs (2012) and Josh Berry (2022).
JR Motorsports readies for Charlotte Motor Speedway
This weekend, JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry will be looking to post a back-to-back wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway and get his first victory of the 2023 season, but he will be sure to have some tough competition.
Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier, is no rookie when it comes to the 1.5-mile Charlotte, N.C. track. In 20 starts, he’s posted five top fives, 11 top 10s and has led 77 laps. Like Berry, Allgaier is still looking to land himself in Victory Lane this season and if his performances at Dover (third place) and Darlington (second place) are any indication of how he’ll run this weekend at Charlotte, he has a good chance of taking the checkered flag.
Another member of the JRM team that could put on a show this weekend is Sam Mayer. The 19-year-old posted his first start at Charlotte Motor Speedway last year, snagging the pole and walking away with a third-place finish. Although he’s still a newbie when it comes to running on the Charlotte oval, he’s proved he can handle himself on 1.5-mile tracks. Earlier this season on Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile track, he posted a seventh-place finish and in his three starts at Texas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile track, he’s posted one top five and two top 10s.
Brandon Jones, who is in his first season with JR Motorsports, has nine Charlotte Motor Speedway starts in the books. In those nine starts, he’s posted three top 10 finishes. He has also put up some good finishes at other 1.5-mile tracks in his career – Las Vegas (13 starts, two top fives and nine top 10s) and Texas (14 starts, two top fives and six top 10s).
If Josh Berry pulls out the win and goes back-to-back at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, he will become the seventh different driver to accomplish feat; joining Harry Gant (1987 sweep), Rob Moroso (1988-1989 sweep), Jeff Gordon (1992 sweep), Mark Martin (1995-1996 sweep), Kyle Busch (2008 sweep, 2009-2010, 2013 sweep), Austin Dillon (2015 sweep). Berry has made two career starts at Charlotte posting one win and an average finish of 16.5.
Double duty drivers getting extra seat time in their backyard
With Charlotte Motor Speedway serving as a “home game” for many drivers, several are in the spirit to get some extra time behind the wheel. Drivers from both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will be joining in on some NASCAR Xfinity Series fun in the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday, May 27 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Kyle Busch, the winningest driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will be getting behind the wheel of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet for his third Xfinity Series start of the 2023 season. In his previous two starts (Las Vegas and Phoenix), he posted a fourth-place and ninth-place finish, respectively. Busch has made 26 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Xfinity Series, posting nine wins, 19 top fives, 22 top 10s and has led 1,475 laps.
Last season’s NASCAR Xfinity Series champ, Ty Gibbs, will be making his second start of the 2023 season in the Xfinity Series behind the wheel of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He made his first start of the season at COTA where he managed a third-place finish. Gibbs has only made two starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Xfinity Series, taking the checkered flag in his track debut in 2021 and posting a runner-up finish in 2022.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series regular Rajah Caruth will be piloting the No. 44 Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet this weekend for his series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This will be his fourth Xfinity Series start of the season.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar will also be joining in on the Xfinity Series action on Saturday behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports. This will be Hocevar’s third Xfinity Series start and his first on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile track.
Standings Shakeup: Nemechek takes the lead
After several weeks of Austin Hill sitting atop the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, there is a new leader – John Hunter Nemechek. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver snags the top spot with 424 points, just one point ahead of Hill who sits with 423.
JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier (-53) and Josh Berry (-57) take up the third and fourth place spots, respectively, with Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer sitting close behind in fifth with 365 points (-59).
Kaulig Racing rookie Chandler Smith sits in sixth with 340 points and Richard Childress Racing’s Sheldon Creed slides in next with 330 points, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Sammy Smith with 323.
SHR’s Riley Herbst takes the ninth spot with 313 points, followed by Sam Mayer (-115), Daniel Hemric (-150) and Parker Kligerman (-151).
Jeb Burton, who took the checkered flag at Talladega to secure his spot in the Playoffs comes in next with Brandon Jones (-160) still fighting for his spot in the 2023 Playoffs.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Natalie Decker returns to Xfinity Series, first female to compete in series this season – SS-Green Light Racing has tapped Natalie Decker to pilot their No. 08 Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the Alsco Uniforms 300. Decker will become the first female to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, and it will be her first start in the series since competing at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season (July 9, 2022).
The 25-year-old from Wisconsin, Decker, has made eight career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts posting a best finish of 24th at Talladega Superspeedway. This will also be her series track debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Kyle Larson dominates in CRAFTSMAN Truck Series return to North Wilkesboro
After pulling away from the field on an overtime restart, Kyle Larson became the first driver to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race at revitalized North Wilkesboro in 27 years and the third different winner in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series at the legendary track; joining Mike Bliss (1995) and Mark Martin (1996).
Originally not scheduled to race, Larson piloted the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet in place of Alex Bowman. Larson dominated the race, leading 138 of the 252 laps and winning stage two.
A late caution set up the final pit stop of the race, forcing teams to delve into pit strategies. Bubba Wallace and Ty Majeski both chose to take two tires, while Larson took four. While Wallace held the lead on the restart with 24 laps to go, the No. 7 Chevrolet marched its way to the front with only 13 laps left.
With another caution sending the field into overtime, Larson was able to drive away from the pack with ease on the restart and sealed the deal. The victory was his third in 15 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races and Spire Motorsports’ second victory.
ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski finished second and snapped a streak of back-to-back finishes of 25th or worse. Following Majeski, Rackley W.A.R’s Matt DiBenedetto finished a season-best third.
2023 Triple Truck Challenge kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Triple Truck Challenge was introduced in 2019 as a three-race program that provides drivers in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series an opportunity to win up to $500,000 in bonus money.
A $50,000 bonus will be awarded to the race winner of any one of the three events. If a driver wins two of the three races, they pocket an additional $150,000. Win all three races and they collect half a million dollars.
After a one-year absence, Charlotte Motor Speedway returns to the Triple Truck Challenge rotation for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Friday, May 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Following Charlotte Motor Speedway, “The Trip” continues at World Wide Technology Raceway (June 3) before closing out on June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Practice and qualifying for the North Carolina Education Lottery will begin Friday, May 6 at 1:35 p.m. ET on FS1.
CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers to watch: The Beast of the Southeast edition
Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the fifth different 1.5-mile track the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has visited this season; joining Las Vegas, Atlanta, Texas, and Kansas.
“The Beast of the Southeast” has hosted the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 20 times with the inaugural event on May 16, 2003 – a race won by Ted Musgrave, driving a Dodge for truck owner Jim Smith.
The 20 previous CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at the 1.5-mile track have produced 11 different pole winners and 11 different race winners. Cup Series regular and Kyle Busch Motorsports owner/driver Kyle Busch leads the series in wins with eight victories (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019). Kyle Busch Motorsports has won an impressive seven out of the last 13 races and are still on the hunt for their 100th NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win.
As the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series stars prepare to take on Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, there are two drivers in the past few years who have consistently been at the front of the field.
Defending NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Zane Smith has three top 10s in just three starts at the 1.5-mile track. During his Charlotte Motor Speedway debut in 2020, Smith led 15 laps and recorded his series-best finish (third). Last year, the driver of the No. 38 Ford finished fifth after leading 52 laps.
In six starts, GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger has three top 10s (2017, 2018, 2022). Last year, Enfinger recorded his series-best finish at the track (second). In his other three starts, the Alabama native has finished just outside of the top 10.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
David Gilliland to drive for TRICON Garage in Charlotte – TRICON Garage team owner David Gilliland will return to the driver’s seat at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Gilliland last raced in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in 2021 making three starts at Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Darlington Raceway. This weekend will mark the veteran’s third career CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Charlotte.
Zane Smith to make Charlotte Motor Speedway debut in NASCAR Cup Series – The 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Champion Zane Smith will be the only full-time Truck Series driver competing this weekend in the Cup Series. He will pilot the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford on Sunday. Smith has made five previous career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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