2019 Coca Cola Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
Kyle Busch is the defending race winner of the Coca Cola 600 as he showed off Joe Gibbs and Toyota power as he took the checkered flag last season. In fact, it was a Toyota sweep as the manufacture went one, two, three with Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Denny Hamlin. This year looks like it may be a similar finish as both Busch and Truex are listed as two of the favorite drivers heading into this weekend’s marathon race.
Last year the two drivers were on separate teams, although affiliated, but now Truex has made the move to Joe Gibbs racing replacing Daniel Suarez. The two teammates are joined by three Ford drivers to round out the top-five favorite Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series Coca Cola 600 according to oddsmakers at intertops.
Kyle Busch -154
Kevin Harvick -111
Martin Truex Jr +110
Brad Keselowski +130
Joey Logano +150
Busch was a strong third place car last weekend at the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race before Kyle Larson was pushed past him by Kevin Harvick. Larson ended up getting the win with Harvick taking second. However, it was not a point paying race, so in order to guarantee a spot in the playoffs Larson will have to win another race this season.
Past Charlotte Winners
If you look at past winners at a certain track when making your pics then this is your race weekend! The top-five favorites heading into the race weekend are all past Charlotte Motor Speedway winners. The only shakeup on the list of the past ten winners at the track is that Carl Edwards is now retired and when Harvick was the winner in 2014 he was driving a Chevrolet.
2018 Kyle Busch Toyota
2017 Martin Truex Jr Toyota
2017 Austin Dillon Chevrolet
2016 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
2016 Martin Truex Jr Toyota
2015 Joey Logano Ford
2015 Carl Edwards Toyota
2014 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
2014 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
2013 Brad Keselowski Ford
While Toyota has dominated the venue the last two times the Cup Series visited the track for a points race, Chevrolet has kept pace. Both brands have four wins each with Ford only nailing down two checkered flags and one of those was back in 2013.
As for manufactures winning the Coca-Cola 600, Toyota and Chevrolet have dominated. Chevrolet has won five of the last ten Coke 600’s. Toyota has won four and Ford has… none. Yep, the number ten spot goes to Dodge who is no longer racing in NASCAR. The last time Ford won the 600 was in 2002 when Mark Martin grabbed the win.
2019 Coca-Cola Prediction
The Coca-Cola 600 may shakeout in a similar manner as the NASCAR All-Star race finished up. The Chevrolet camp has started to come on strong and shows signs of being a dominate factor as the season progresses. Chase Elliott, at +160, is the highest ranked Chevy driver with fellow bow-tie driver Kyle Larson right behind him at +280
If they can manage the track as they did during the race last Saturday, they could force Toyota and Ford drivers to use up their cars before the end of the 600-mile endurance event. That’s where Kyle Busch has been running into trouble over the last several races. The driver of the No. 18 car has had strong starts, plenty of power, but his car has faded towards the end of the race.
As for Kevin Harvick, he’s yet to win a race this season but has run so well that he’s riding high in the Cup Series standings. Harvick, and the remaining Ford drivers running high on the favored list, have all had strong seasons but the Coca-Cola has not been one of the manufactures best events.
Kyle Busch, Truex, Harvick, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski will all have strong runs but this may end up being another race where the underdog rises to the top. This is another opportunity for team Chevy to grab a win.