Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - October 14, 2022

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (Cup Series) Predictions and Odds

  • Kyle Larson has a chance to duplicate a rare feat accomplished by a predecessor. 
  • Will Kyle Busch’s strength on intermediate speedways carry over into Charlotte?
  • Martin Truex Jr. hopes to return to top form in a race he once dominated.

Coca-Cola 600 Odds

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Winner Odds
Kyle Busch +650
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Martin Truex Jr. +650
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Kyle Larson +700
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Denny Hamlin +800
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Ryan Blaney +1000
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Tyler Reddick +1200
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William Byron +1200
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Chase Elliott +1200
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Alex Bowman +1400
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Ross Chastain +1500
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Christopher Bell +1500
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Kurt Busch +1600
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Joey Logano +2000
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Austin Cindric +2000
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Coca Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is NASCAR’s longest race, one that requires drivers to save both themselves and their equipment for the final 100 miles. It’s a race that starts in sunlight, progresses through twilight and finishes under the lights late at night.

Hence, keeping up with changing track conditions is as important as having a speed in a car. Sunday’s race will be contested over 400 laps (600 miles), with three stage breaks (instead of the usual two) after 100, 200 and 300 laps, making the Coke 600 the most valuable points race on the Cup Series calendar. Kyle Larson is the defending winner.

Kyle Larson Is the Only Driver Who Can Match Jeff Gordon’s Double

Kyle Larson already has something in common with one of his predecessors at Hendrick Motorsports.

Last year, Larson became the first NASCAR Cup Series driver since Jeff Gordon to win the Coca-Cola 600 and the series championship in the same year. Gordon accomplished the feat in both 1997 and 1998.

Justifiably, Larson is one of the favorites to win this year’s 600, and if he does so, he’ll join an exclusive club. Only six drivers have gone back-to-back in NASCAR’s longest race—Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson holds the record with three straight victories in NASCAR’s longest race (2003-2005).

For Larson, there are strong parallels between this season and last. He already has won one race this year. Last season, his second victory came in the Coke 600, and then the floodgates opened.

Larson went on to win 10 times and secured the championship with a victory at Phoenix, but he faces adversity in trying to duplicate his Charlotte triumph. After posting the fastest lap in Saturday’s practice, Larson hit the Turn 2 wall and was not able to run a qualifying lap as his team repaired the car.

But starting from the rear in a 600-mile race shouldn’t be an insurmountable impediment. We like Larson to overcome the “speed bump” and find Victory Lane.

As a bonus, Larson’s starting position lengthened his odds to +700 at DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s good news for those who fancy the reigning champion.

Strength on Intermediate Speedways Bodes Well for Kyle Busch’s Chances

Last week at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch led the first 47 laps of the NASCAR All-Star Race before a freak accident ended his evening.

But that race was more reinforcement of Busch’s strength on 1.5-mile downforce tracks. Earlier this season, Busch finished fourth at Las Vegas after leading 49 laps and third at Kansas after leading 18 laps.

Charlotte is one of Busch’s favorite tracks, and we think he’ll be a strong contender for the win on Sunday night.

Busch is a superb diagnostician when it comes to the handling of his No. 18 Toyota, and he and crew chief Ben Beshore shouldn’t be befuddled by changing track conditions.

A victory isn’t out of the question, and a top-three finish is well worth consideration. Busch qualified fourth, and based on his race management skills alone, he’s worth considering as a co-favorite at +650 via DraftKings.

Martin Truex Jr. Hopes to Rediscover Top Form at a Track He Once Dominated

It seems like ages ago that Martin Truex Jr. led 392 of 400 laps in the Coca-Cola 600 and won the race by 2.572 seconds.

In reality, it was just six years ago to the day that Truex dominated the 500-mile marathon. But though Truex has had several respectable runs this season, he has yet to maximize the Next Gen car that was introduced into the NASCAR Cup Series this season.

It’s our feeling that Truex’s status as co-favorite for this year’s Coke 600 is based more on past performance than current reality.

Accordingly, we would recommend avoiding Truex (+650 DraftKings) when making your betting decision, even though he’s a three-time winner at Charlotte.

Truex qualified 14th, with no indication he’s ready to challenge for the win. There are much better bets on the board—pole-winner Denny Hamlin (+800) or second-place qualifier Kurt Busch (+1600), for two glaring examples.

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How to Watch Coca-Cola 600

Coca-Cola 600 Information
Race Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup Series race
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time Sunday, May 29, 6 p.m. ET
How to Watch FOX

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AUTHOR

Reid Spencer

193 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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