Back to the Track: Watch livestream show previewing NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR makes the move to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for two cup series races including the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest race.

Join the Nexstar coverage team for a pre-race show that continues to examine the return to racing in the coronavirus reality we’re all dealing with today. Plus, our team will set the stage for NASCAR’s most grueling race — 600 miles around the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The race itself is almost always hot, the race is 100 miles longer than any other and it is a true battle of attrition. It’s not always the most exciting event and NASCAR has struggled over the years to find an aerodynamic package capable of compelling competition.

Still, drivers love this event and many teams thrive in the challenge of tackling a 600-miler. They also respect what the Coca-Cola 600 has become over the last 61 years.

“I think for our hardcore fans and for the people that appreciate the history of NASCAR, the 600 is it’s own kind of animal and it’s own show,” said Martin Truex Jr. “For us in the sport and drivers especially, it’s a big one and it’s one we all want to win.”

Here’s a look at the top topics going into Charlotte:

KEEPING THE MOMENTUM

Even with rain disruptions, NASCAR had a good first week back at Darlington Raceway. Kevin Harvick got his first win of the season and 50th of his career in the first race, and Denny Hamlin won for the third time at Darlington in the first Wednesday race in 34 years.

Both races at Darlington were compelling and the Xfinity Series finish Thursday came down to a last-lap battle Chase Briscoe won over Kyle Busch.

Now comes the 600, which often turns into green-flag runs where cars are stretched into a long parade lap. Strategy, tire conservation and luck can factor into the race in a combination that often doesn’t make for for good television. That’s the only viewing option though because spectators are no t permitted, so NASCAR must hope the casual sports fan sticks with the racing.

A snoozer of a race could spoil NASCAR’s current high.

“It’s the Coca-Cola 600 and you cannot change that,” Joey Logano said. “It’s a good race track and it’s going to be intense out there from lap one. It’s 100% from lap one. We’re hammer down every lap.”

TRUEX’S PLAYGROUND

No one has excelled at Charlotte like Truex, who has two wins, a second-place finish and a third in his last four 600s. Truex has led 625 of 1,200 laps in that span.

He is winless so far this season, his second at Joe Gibbs Racing and first since crew chief Cole Pearn’s startling offseason retirement. But Truex is heating up and grabbed a pair of top-10 finishes at Darlington.

He’s confident there’s been no slip under new crew chief James Small.

“I feel like we really picked up where we left off last year,” Truex said of last year’s seven-win season. “We’re right there and James is doing an awesome job.”

BUSCH VS. ELLIOTT

Chase Elliott flipped Busch the bird after Busch wrecked Elliott racing for the win Wednesday night.

Elliott has twice been voted by fans as NASCAR’s most popular driver and Busch is notoriously disliked, so the on-track incident has the makings for a good, old-fashioned feud. Instead, Busch has publicly accepted blame and called Elliott to apologize.

Elliott accepted that Busch made a mistake but can’t help being bitter. Busch went on to finish second in a 1-2 with Hamlin for Joe Gibbs Racing; Elliott was 38th.

“I get that mistakes happen, that’s part of life and I get it,” Elliott said. “He’s just not a guy that makes many mistakes, so for me to be on the poor end of a rare mistake on his end is, at the end of the day, unfortunate for me and my team.”

FLYOVER

The pre-race party isn’t entirely ruined as speedway officials are still managing the NASCAR tradition of a flyover after the national anthem.

The invocation, anthem and stating command will be done virtually, but the Air Force Heritage Flight will still make a fly-by to spark some electricity at the otherwise empty event.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

St. Louis Sports

FOX2 Sports is your home for the latest information about the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Illinois.

Are the Cardinals making a big trade? Are the Blues ready for another Stanley Cup run? Is someone going to sign a major free-agent deal? Are the Tigers, Billikens and Illini bringing in the next big recruiting class? We cover all the big games that matter.

The MLS is coming to St. Louis in 2023 and we’ll be here for the start of STL SC too. The XFL thrived in its reboot season playing at the Dome at America’s Center, and if the BattleHawks return in 2022, we’ll be there to tackle it.

St. Louis is home to some of the best high school student-athletes who go on to succeed in the pros and beyond. Before Larry Hughes, Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum made a name for themselves as Division I NCAA basketball stars at SLU, Florida, and Duke, they played at CBC and Chaminade. Before Ezekiel Elliott, Sheldon Richardson and Jeremy Maclin became Ohio State Buckeyes and Missouri Tigers and NFL first-round draft picks, they went to John Burroughs, Gateway Tech and Kirkwood. All of them were featured in the FOX2 Prep Zone before they went off to the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and beyond.

Members of our team, including Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne, Charlie Marlow, and Rich Gould have covered every significant moment in St. Louis sports since 1987, from the football Cardinals’ departure for Arizona to the arrival of the St. Louis Rams; from the Mark McGwire home run chase to the Cardinals’ World Series titles, to the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf era’s Super Bowl crown; from Brett Hull to Vladimir Tarasenko, we’ve covered the Blues all the way to the team’s first Stanley Cup.

Think of all the great characters in St. Louis area sports history. Jack Buck, Mike Shannon, Charlie Spoonhour, Norm Stewart, Whitey Herzog, Tony LaRussa, Stan Musial, Dick Vermiel, Lou Brock, Albert Pujols, Kurt Warner, Ozzie Smith, Hull, Pat Maroon, Keith Tkachuk, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, David Freese. All of them talk to us.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News