The Coca-Cola 600 will be run Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The final NASCAR race of May begins at 6 p.m. ET on Fox, and it will also be available to watch via live stream from Fox Sports Go (subscription required).
There's a bevy of story lines and drivers to watch in this Sunday's race, beginning with Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon.
How Will Back Spasms Affect Gordon's Performance?
Gordon sat out the last practice run Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to rest his ailing back. Per Jay Pennell of FoxSports.com, he told Fox Sports 1:
I've had some spasms in the past, but this one is a little bit different. I just want to really be cautious and take care of it. It doesn't do me any good to be in the car right now, especially when the car is as good it is. It's really about getting prepared for 600 miles tomorrow. I have no doubts that I can be in this car and be competitive tomorrow if I just take it easy over the next 24 hours.
Attempting to navigate in a stock car amid the pressure and tension of a NASCAR event is difficult if a driver is at 100 percent.
With a back ailment, it's obviously tougher.
While Gordon's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, indicated his confidence that the driver will be in the car Sunday, Pennell reports that Regan Smith will be available as a replacement if Gordon can't finish the race.
Can Danica Do It?
Danica Patrick's final practice time was bested only by Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. She has been racing well of late, including a seventh-place finish at the 5-Hour Energy 400 last week.
Per NASCAR.com, Patrick's average starting and finishing positions are 23.9 and 24.8, respectively—an improvement over 2012 and 2013.
As Jeff Gluck of USA Today wrote:
The more intriguing possibility is Patrick's newfound momentum is a sign she's turned the corner and elevated herself to the kind of driver who can contend for victories.
If the latter is true, then Charlotte could realistically be the site of a breakthrough.
We'll see if Patrick finally captures her first win.
Jimmie Is the Man
After capturing the pole position for Sunday, the defending (and six-time) NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has to be confident.
He's won the race three times (2003-05), but it's been nearly 10 years since he last took the checkered flag at Charlotte. Johnson is currently 54 points behind Gordon in the standings and in search of his first win of the season despite three top-five finishes.
Sunday's race could be the spot where he gets into the win column for 2014.
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