NASCAR builds a cozy two-week break in the middle of May for its Sprint Cup teams to spend some time at home, sleeping in their own beds and getting to play with their kids. Think of it as an extended homestand in Major League Baseball.
Although the teams get to spend time at home, there’s still work to be done, including two races—the first was the All-Star Race, which is already in the books. Last Saturday, Jamie McMurray took home a $1 million check in that one.
Now comes the payback for spending two weeks at home.
It’s called the Coca-Cola 600. It’s NASCAR’s longest race, and at 600 miles (that’s 400 laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway), it’s an endurance race for stock cars.
Before things get started on Thursday, the focus will be on the stories being talked about by the people in the grandstands and the garage, including rumors of a fourth Joe Gibbs Racing team, a possible defection by Petty Motorsports and questions about Tony Stewart’s performance in the All-Star Race.