The 2019 Coke 600 may have taken nearly five hours to complete but it was by far the best 600 we’ve seen in quite some time. After years of mediocre at best shows on NASCAR’s longest night the 2019 version finally gave fans something to talk about.
Ignore the fact that you could drive from Charlotte to Orlando in the time it took to run that race, don’t fact check that just assume it’s correct. Ignore that there were 16 cautions for 80 laps (20% of the race). Just forget all of that and look at what we saw, a really solid race.
Multiple leaders, seven drivers led double digit laps, green flag passes for the lead, and more importantly more passing than we’ve seen at this track in the last 6 years. Take a look at the numbers:
Most leaders, most lead changes, closest margin of victory (OT aided), most green flag passes, and most quality passes. That’s the first time with this 2019 aero package we’ve seen better numbers in every category.
One of the reasons every category was higher is undoubtedly a result of the number of cautions and subsequent restarts. For the first time since Fontana there were multi-car wrecks. Fans have exclaimed that these cars are too easy to drive, they don’t wreck enough. Sunday night they wrecked early and often. That resulted in an average green flag run of 18.8 laps which set up for a lot of wild restarts. During those restarts FOX constantly exclaimed “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THAT AT CHARLOTTE?” Well no, because we’ve never had 550 horsepower and a bathroom door on the deck lid before. It was highly entertaining though.
Of the 30 lead changes 16 of them happened under green flag conditions and only one of them happened 12 laps into a run or later. Shoutout Nick Bromberg for those numbers.
Overall it was definitely a better race. A number of people were concerned with the hot temperatures and this package. It worked great at Kansas in the cool weather. Charlotte doesn’t have cool weather on Memorial Day, 95 degrees and this package worked pretty damn well. However, it may have only worked well thanks to the high number of cautions.
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