Nascar Racing

The 2023 Coca-Cola 600

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

It’s time again for the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It has become something we do every Memorial day weekend and a time that we and NASCAR celebrate the fallen heroes and families of the military. A day of remembrance and appreciation of those that gave their all in service to our country. I don’t know about you but I am thankful for what these soldiers did and I am moved by thoughts of what their families have sacrificed and gone through.

Not only is it a day of celebration and remembrance but, it is a day for the longest race in stock car racing. Six hundred miles of going round and round the one and a half mile oval and trying to keep up with changing track conditions as the race moves from daylight to darkness. Four stages of one hundred laps. Four stages with playoff points to win and strategies to be used to continuously move a driver towards the front of the field to hopefully claim the victory at the end of the six hundred miles.

Now, consider the fact that this long and important race will be faced with no practice and no qualifying. The lineup is assigned according to NASCAR’s plan for lineups when no qualifying is possible because of whatever conditions keep it from happening.

Well… from my view, it could mean some very interesting things as the race progresses. Pit selections, which can often make a difference in the end results of the race, are arrived at according to the way they lineup. From my view, that can also make the end result very interesting when the final checkered flag drops on this, the longest race.

I suppose it is possible the lineup could have turned out exactly as it is even if they had been able to qualify. Because mother nature did intercede in cancelling qualifying, we will never know the answer to that question. Would it make any difference? That, too, won’t be known until the race is done and the winner shows up in victory Lane.

Considering all of these things, everyone wonders which of the drivers and teams will survive the six hundred miles and which of them will enjoy the spoils of winning the Coca-Cola six hundred.

To be honest, I don’t really have any idea which one will win but I do have some I would like to see win and some I think have the best chance. I know this isn’t my normal way of talking about a race weekend but, this weekend is not a normal race weekend. It is a celebration and yet a solemn remembrance of what it costs for us to be able to enjoy a weekend like this in these United States. We thank those heroic warriors and families for their contribution and sacrifice.

There are those that are asking, because of his recent performances, if Kyle Larson is ready to string a bunch of wins together. The end results haven’t always been there but he has shown up just about every weekend as the one to beat. Unfortunate circumstances have often kept him from winning more than two races so far but, he has usually been at or near the front when it comes down to the final laps. After his performance in the All-Star race last weekend, this fan can’t help but wonder if it might be Larson in Victory Lane.

There is one driver that many of the competitors have a negative opinion of and that is … yeah, you guessed it … Ross Chastain. I like Ross but I think one thing that amazes me about him is how he sits atop the driver standings because of his consistency in finishes but has no wins yet. Of course, one thing that doesn’t show up in the standings is how some may not be ahead of him because of his aggressive driving. I only bring it up, not because I don’t like him but, because I can think of races he might not have done so well had he not been the cause of others not finishing ahead of him. I’m sure some may disagree with my thinking and that’s okay but, I’m not the only one that sees him as being overly aggressive at the wrong times. (Oh well, that’s my opinion, anyway.)

There are several that have a very good chance at winning this one and Ross is one of them. Along with him, I would name Kyle Bush, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola. In fact, there are a bunch of drivers that could win and for some of them it would be their first victory in Cup. I’m not so sure there will be a first-time winner tonight though. I won’t rule it out but I think some of the drivers that have been at it longer have a better chance.

So, when all is said and done by the end of this one, I expect we’ll see a battle between the Chevys and Toyotas, in particular, and there could be a surprise win by a Ford (even though I don’t think so.) The Fords have been struggling most all season and I just don’t see one of them sitting in Victory Lane at the end of the night, but… I just might be completely surprised…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 28, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
All audio productions by and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.