ThatsRacin

NASCAR Cup Series: Results and 3 takeaways from Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Kyle Busch led 377 of a possible 400 laps in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 on his way to his first points win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch led 377 of a possible 400 laps in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 on his way to his first points win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. AP Photo

Kyle Busch won the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, his fourth win of the season, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

1. So much for all that talk about Kevin Harvick's runaway dominance

All season, we've heard that Kevin Harvick is the best driver in NASCAR. He's got the most wins, the most stage wins. ... OK. You know what he doesn't have? The points lead. That already belonged to Busch, and after Sunday's victory, his margin atop the leaderboard only grew. Harvick does still have the most victories, and he'll almost certainly win a few more before this season is through, but to call him the undisputed favorite at this point? Busch has been strong enough this season to put that statement to rest — for now, at least. ...

2. Kyle Busch drives himself into the NASCAR record books

Coming into Sunday, Charlotte Motor Speedway was the only track where Busch hadn't won a Cup Series points race. Mission accomplished. He is now the only driver in history to win at every active track he's raced at — not Richard Petty, not Dale Earnhardt, not Jimmie Johnson or anyone else can say that. Just think about the magnitude of that. Busch may only have one Cup Series championship (so far), but with each passing year and each new accomplishment, he moves further and further up the all-time best drivers list. And if he could just add another title. ...

3. What's the future of Charlotte Motor Speedway?

Last weekend's NASCAR All-Star Race was a rousing success at CMS and was largely hailed as the track's best race in some time, mostly due to a new rules and aero package. The drivers were close together the entire race, constantly passing for the lead. You really didn't know who was going to win until the last five laps or so.

The Coca-Cola 600 could not have yielded a more opposite result. Kyle Busch won in absolutely dominant fashion, and this is now the second time this has happened in the 600 in the last three years.

Given NASCAR's current decline and fledgling fan base, those sorts of "boring" races can't persist. CMS has always been a beacon of innovation for racing — its next challenge? Figuring out how to make things more like the All-Star Race on a consistent basis.

Coca-Cola 600 results

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Sunday At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.

Lap length: 1.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400 laps, 70 points.

2. (15) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 400, 54.

3. (3) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 400, 49.

4. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 400, 41.

5. (23) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 400, 41.

6. (7) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 400, 37.

7. (11) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 400, 46.

8. (16) Kurt Busch, Ford, 400, 36.

9. (27) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 400, 28.

10. (13) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 399, 31.

11. (22) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 399, 30.

12. (28) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 399, 35.

13. (9) Aric Almirola, Ford, 399, 34.

14. (14) Paul Menard, Ford, 399, 23.

15. (10) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 399, 22.

16. (24) Darrell Wallace Jr, Chevrolet, 399, 21.

17. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 399, 20.

18. (29) Michael McDowell, Ford, 399, 19.

19. (4) Erik Jones, Toyota, 399, 29.

20. (26) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 399, 21.

21. (20) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 399, 16.

22. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 399, 15.

23. (30) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 399, 14.

24. (25) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 398, 0.

25. (19) David Ragan, Ford, 396, 12.

26. (33) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet, 396, 11.

27. (32) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 394, 0.

28. (35) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 394, 9.

29. (18) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 394, 8.

30. (37) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 389, 7.

31. (34) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 388, 6.

32. (36) Timmy Hill, Ford, 383, 0.

33. (38) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 373, 0.

34. (12) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 348, 3.

35. (6) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 344, 5.

36. (8) Ryan Blaney, Ford, engine, 278, 10.

37. (31) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, oilleak, 257, 1.

38. (40) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, fuelpump, 191, 0.

39. (21) William Byron, Chevrolet, accident, 139, 1.

40. (39) Kevin Harvick, Ford, accident, 83, 1.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 136.692 mph.

Time of Race: 4 hours, 23 minutes, 22 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 3.823 seconds.

Caution Flags: 11 for 54 laps.

Lead Changes: 9 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: Ky.Busch 0; J.Logano 1-4; Ky.Busch 5-85; B.Keselowski 86-87; Ky.Busch 88-158; D.Hamlin 159-165; J.Logano 166-173; Ky.Busch 174-352; D.Hamlin 353-354; Ky.Busch 355-400.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 4 times for 377 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 12 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 9 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 2 laps.

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