2014 Coca Cola 600 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | Sunday, 6 p.m. (FOX)

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Octopus’ pick in Sunday’s race: Carl Edwards

NASCAR_THURSDAY_02
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (99) is asked questions by a TV cameraman while walking to his car for Thursday's practice 2014 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.

How much does a Giant Pacific octopus know about NASCAR?

We could find out Sunday, after Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium’s resident octopus picked Carl Edwards to win the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sea Life officials said they lowered five model cars, representing the season Sprint Cup leaders, into the octopus’ tank in the aquarium at Concord Mills. The octopus wrapped itself around Edwards’ car.

“The Giant Pacific Octopus ... is a highly intelligent creature,” said David Cochran, display curator at Sea Life.

Before you laugh, an octopus at a Sea Life aquarium in Germany made news in 2010 by successfully picking winners in 13 of 17 World Cup soccer matches.

Buses to the Speedway: Fans headed to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 but trying to avoid parking hassles are reminded that Charlotte Area Transit System will operate shuttle buses from uptown to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Buses operate from noon-6 p.m., with stops at the Transportation Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and most major uptown hotels. Buses drop off passengers in front of the speedway.

Return trips will operate for two hours after the race ends. The round-trip fare is $8. You can bring small coolers, but eating and drinking on the bus is prohibited.

Autograph sessions: If you’re at the Speedway on Sunday, the Kangaroo Express store in the infield will have Marcus Ambrose and Austin Dillon signing autographs. Ambrose appears from 1:25-2:10 p.m., and Dillon will follow from 2:30-3 p.m.

Hospitality parties: Ford and Coca-Cola will have pre-race parties Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For an extra $69, you can upgrade your ticket for admittance to a party, which includes food and a chance to meet drivers.

Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart will be at the Coca-Cola party ( www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/cokepartypass). Carl Edwards, Eric Almirola and Jimmy Fennig will be at the Ford party ( www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fordracing).

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