It's not where you start, it's where you finish—But in the Coca-Cola 600 it's not how you start, it's how you finish.
For Kurt Busch in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge he started the evening blistering fast and made it clear early on that he was using every bit of the momentum he received from winning the Sprint All-Star race on Sunday night. But as the sun went down and the lights came on, many were prepared for Busch and others that had been so strong during the day to fade at night.
They tuned into the wrong race.
Busch continued his dominating pace as he and Jamie McMurray outran the field, showing that Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi don't just build good IZOD Indy cars, to finish the night one-two with Busch sweeping the May events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He led 252 of 400 laps.
Behind the two the racing was nothing but frantic at times.
Jimmie Johnson was locked out of his house and found the wall on two occasions during the Coke 600. The first coming when he got loose in turn four, which the team was able to repair, but the second time he hit hard off turn two and ended the Lowe's team's night.
Other contenders that fell by the wayside were Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin who each encountered their own gremlins. For Kahne it looked like over-adjusting on his No. 9 Budweiser Dodge as he started off fast in the daytime but wasn't to be found at night.
For Hamlin, it was ruining his splitter when he had to take evasive action when Johnson hit the turn four wall. After clipping the grass, Hamlin's No. 11 FedEx machine was never the same and he wasn't a factor when it mattered most.
Our Creatures didn't have many picks that were factors either.
As the saying goes, "you win some, you lose some," and after winning for three straight weeks, that wasn't the case Sunday. Some came closer than others, and the rest will be happy to leave Charlotte and head north to the triangle in Pennsylvania.
Here's how they'll look when they get there:
Billy Fellin (1,813 ) Kasey Kahne finished 12th (3 )
Kara Martin (1,803 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (2 )
Sal Sigala Jr. (1,682 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (0 )
Kelly Crandall (1,653 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (1 )
Dustin Parks (1,644 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (1 )
James Broomhead (1,639 ) Kyle Busch finished third (1 )
Rob Tiongson (1,633 ) Jeff Gordon finished sixth (0 )
Christopher Leone (1,559 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (2 )
Patti Rodisch (1,549 ) Kasey Kahne finished 12th (0 )
David Yeazell (1,540 ) Jimmie Johnson finished 37th (0 )
Misan Akuya (1,500 ) Tony Stewart finished 15th (0 )
Adam Healsey (962 ) Kyle Busch finished third (0 )
Alan Wade (99 ) Martin Truex Jr. finished 23rd (0 )
The "Tricky Triangle" of Pocono Raceway in Pocono Pennsylvania.
Kurt Busch could very well win another one as he heads to one of his best tracks. But he'll have to contend with a driver that also does well at Pocono: Denny Hamlin. Hamlin won both races in 2006 and the summer race last year.
Creatures have your picks for the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target by Thursday, June 3 at 7 p.m. ET.