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Ford Faces a Difficult Challenge at Charlotte: Predictions and Odds

Ford Faces a Difficult Challenge at Charlotte: Predictions and Odds

Ford has struggled at Charlotte for more than a decade.

The manufacturer went through a long drought at the track, taking nine years to score a win there.

After Mark Martin’s 2002 Coca-Cola 600 win, it took the blue oval nearly a decade to do it again.

It finally found itself back in victory lane at Charlotte with Matt Kenseth during the 2011 Bank of America 500.

While Ford hasn’t gone through such a long drought again, its recent form at Charlotte isn’t particularly great.

The blue oval manufacturer has two wins since then, in 2013 and 2015.

That makes it two wins in 11 starts at the track during the Gen 6 era.

Both results came at the 500 mile race held during the playoffs.

To put things into perspective, even Dodge has more wins than Ford at Charlotte since 2002.

The now-defunct program scored five victories at the 1.5 mile oval, the most recent coming in 2010.

Dodge also scored three Coca-Cola 600 wins during that span.

Since the Gen 6’s introduction back in 2013, Chevrolet has five wins while Toyota scored another four.

But Ford’s struggles at Charlotte become even more evident looking at another stat.

The 2002 win by Mark Martin was the manufacturer’s last triumph at the Coca-Cola 600.

How to Watch

What: Coca-Cola 600

Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC

When: Sunday, May 26th at 6:00 PM EST

How: FS1 (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio)

A Look at Ford’s 16-Race Drought at the Coca-Cola 600

The early 2000s marked a period of dominance for Ford at the Coca-Cola 600.

The blue oval manufacturer won every edition of the event from 1999 until 2002.

So, curiously enough, Ford’s drought started right at the end of a long Coca-Cola 600 dominance.

It came in great fashion as well, with the top 4 spots going to the blue oval.

During that stretch, Jeff Burton (two times), Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin scored victories.

Since then, Ford’s best results at the longest race of the season are four runner-up finishes.

These results came with former Roush-Fenway drivers Greg Biffle (2008 and 2015), David Ragan (2011) as well as Kenseth (2003).

Despite the struggles, Ford isn’t necessarily out of the picture.

The Coca-Cola 600 is unpredictable due to its long distance, so anything could happen.

Considering that fuel-saving finishes aren’t rare, there is plenty of room for an upset.

Which Ford Drivers Have a Shot at Winning the Coca-Cola 600?

Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano all have won at Charlotte in the past.

Keselowski, during the 2013 playoffs, and Logano during the 2015 postseason did it driving a Ford car.

Out of that group, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano stand out as having the best shot at winning.

Harvick is a three time winner at Charlotte, having won the Coca-Cola 600 twice.

The 2014 champion has yet to win a race this year, however, as Stewart-Haas in particular has struggled.

He did come close to doing it at Kansas, falling off due to a pit stop problem.

Logano has failed to finish inside the top 20 in his last four starts at Charlotte.

The Team Penske driver, however, is in the best form of his career, being the reigning champion.

He leads the points standings and has six top 5 finishes this season.

With his consistent performances, Logano finds himself as a contender in nearly every race.

If the momentum carries over going into Charlotte, expect him to break out of that poor recent run.

2019 Coca-Cola 600 Manufacturer Predictions and Odds

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