RFK Advance | Charlotte I

Coca-Cola 600 Event Info:
Date: Sunday, May 26
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Series: NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Location: Concord, N.C.
Format: 400 Laps, 600 Miles
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90)

Weekend Schedule:
Saturday: 5:05 p.m. ET, Practice (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Saturday: 5:50 p.m. ET, Qualifying (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday: 6 p.m. ET, Race (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Pace Laps:

  • The NASCAR schedule turns to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series is set for the famed Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night.
  • RFK has 20 wins all-time at CMS including four in the Coke 600.
  • A season ago in this race, Chris Buescher won stage two and led laps before going on to record his fourth-straight top-10 in the 600-mile event.
  • NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola is a six-week, industry-wide campaign celebrating the service and sacrifice of U.S. service members and their families through a multitude of at-track integrations, original content features and fan engagement opportunities.
  • This year, NASCAR Salutes begins on Memorial Day Weekend, anchored by a special tribute called “600 Miles of Remembrance” where every Cup Series car in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will feature the name of a fallen service member on the windshield.

6 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Matt McCall
Partner: BuildSubmarines.com

  • The BuildSubmarines.com car will feature the name of Commander Howard Gilmore (United States Navy – Selma, Alabama) on the windshield. Gilmore was the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Growler during World War II. During a fire fight with enemy gunboats, Commander Gilmore gave the order to clear the bridge, and refusing safety for himself, remained on deck while his men preceded him below. Having been hit by gunfire, in his final living moments, Commander Gilmore gave his last order to the officer on deck, “take her down”.
  • For his distinguished gallantry and valor above and beyond the call of duty, Commander Gilmore was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

17 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Partner: Fastenal

  • Through Fastenal’s partnership with Operation Healing Heroes (a veterans charity program & TV show on Discovery Channel), Major Troy Gilbert (United States Air Force – San Angelo, Texas) will be honored on the No. 17 car this weekend. As part of the partnership with Operation Healing Heroes, Major Gilbert’s wife Ginger will be on site at RFK Racing on Friday, May 24th to see the car and be part of a sit-down interview telling her story along with meeting Chris.

Keselowski at Charlotte
Starts: 24
Wins: 2 (2013, 2020)
Top-10s: 10
Poles: 1 (2011)

  • Keselowski makes his 15th start in the Coca-Cola 600 and 25th overall start at CMS this weekend. He has 10 top-10 finishes – five inside the top five – with two wins and a 14.4 average finish.
  • Keselowski is the 2020 winner of the 600-mile event, leading 21 laps after starting ninth. He also won on the oval in 2013, and in total has led in 13 different Charlotte oval events.
  • Last season, Keselowski finished 19th in the 600 after starting third.
  • Keselowski has an average starting position of 15.6 with one pole (2011). Otherwise, he has nine starts inside the top-10.
  • Keselowski also made a combined 25 additional starts in the Xfinity and Truck Series at CMS with a combined four wins – all in Xfinity – in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018.

Buescher at Charlotte
Starts: 11
Wins: —
Top-10s: 4
Poles: —

  • Buescher makes his 12th Cup start at Charlotte this weekend in what will be his eighth Coca-Cola 600.
  • He has four top-10s at Charlotte with a best finish of sixth in the 2019 Coke 600. He finished 10th a year later, and ran eighth in the 2021 marquee event.
  • He’s coming off a P8 finish a year ago after initially starting 11th and leading 12 laps.
  • Buescher’s best starting position stands as 11th (twice) with a 20.5 overall average starting position.
  • He also made five Xfinity Series starts at CMS with three top-10s and a best finish of sixth (2014).

RFK Historically at Charlotte
Cup Wins: 8 (Mark Martin, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2002; Jeff Burton, 1999, 2001; Matt Kenseth, 2000, 2011)

  • RFK in the 600: In 110 NCS starts in the famed Coca-Cola 600, RFK Racing has visited victory lane four times and recorded 23 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes. Jeff Burton leads the way with two Coke 600 victories for Jack Roush, while Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth have one apiece.
  • Tale of the Tape: RFK has started 220 NCS races at Charlotte, recording eight total wins with 46 top-five and 82 top-10 finishes. RFK Fords have an average finish of 16.4 with 2639 laps led all-time.
  • 2006 Dominance: RFK had its best overall outing in the Coca-Cola 600 in 2006, when its five entries averaged a 5.4 finish. RFK Fords finished third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth, while leading 52 laps in the event. In 2002, RFK posted a one-two finish in the event with Martin and Kenseth battling feverishly for the win and combining to lead 67 laps in the race (with Martin taking the win).
  • Golden Sombrero: RFK won a record four consecutive Coca-Cola 600’s from 1999-2002 with drivers Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin. During that span, RFK led 427 laps, including 201 of 400 laps in the 1999 event.

RFK Charlotte Wins

1992-2 Martin Cup

1995-2 Martin Cup

1998-2 Martin Cup

1999-1 Burton Cup

2000-1 Kenseth Cup

2001-1 Burton Cup

2002-1 Martin Cup

2011-2 Kenseth Cup

1993-2 Martin NXS

1995-2 Martin NXS

1996-1 Martin NXS

1996-2 Martin NXS

1998-1 Martin NXS

1999-1 Martin NXS

2000-1 Burton NXS

2001-2 Biffle NXS

2002-2 Burton NXS

2006-1 Edwards NXS

2011-1 Kenseth NXS

2011-2 Edwards NXS

2011-2 Edwards NXS

2015-1 Buescher NXS

Last Time Out & Where They Stand
All-Star: Buescher capped off his weekend at North Wilkesboro with his best-career finish in the All-Star Race, P3. Keselowski finished 16th.

Points Standings (6: 11th, 17: 12th): Points remain unchanged coming off the All-Star Race, with Buescher and Keselowski just outside the top-10.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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