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Why the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Is One of the Toughest Races on the NASCAR Calendar

Nilavro Ghosh

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The 2024 edition of the Coca-Cola 600 is just around the corner and drivers will have to be prepared for what many call one of the toughest races in NASCAR. But why is that the case? How is it tougher than some of the other intermediate tracks? NASCAR legend and insider Dale Jarrett recently sat down with NBC Sports to discuss just that and a lot of it has to do with track temperature.

Charlotte is not the coolest of places and the 600 is being held right in the middle of the summer season. Track temperature will be extremely high which will give rise to tyre wear. It will all be about strategy over the 600 miles but that’s not all. Running 600 miles is no easy feat and several racers get exhausted towards the end of the race.

“The temperatures are gonna be in the mid to high 80s so the race track is gonna be hot and slick at the start of this 600-mile race. It’s not one that as a driver that you can kind of sit back and relax this part of it because you’ll find yourself in trouble quickly. But it is a grueling test of driver and machine. You go through this, you have to be careful not to be thinking and watching and wondering how much longer you have in this race,” Jarrett said.

It’s important to gain a good track position as soon as possible in any race, but Jarrett believes the final part will be more important than the others.

A test of endurance awaits the drivers in Charlotte

Most drivers will take new tires towards the end of the race so that they can carry their highest speeds until the finish line. That’s when the passes happen the most. That’s also the time drivers start to feel the effects of running 600 miles in that heat at such high speeds. It’s a test for the cars as well since they would have probably run well over 400 miles by then.

“You’re getting a little fatigued physically and mentally, you’re gonna be running your fastest laps towards the end of this race and obviously that’s the time that it comes to win. So it is a real test of these cars and these drivers and who can put all of that together very happy at the end and holding that trophy,” Jarrett added.

It will be interesting to see who walks away with one of the most prestigious race wins in NASCAR history, something that Dale Jarrett was luck to have achieved back in the day.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Nilavro Ghosh

Nilavro Ghosh


Nilavro is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. His love for motorsports began at a young age with F1 and spread out to other forms of racing like NASCAR and Moto GP. After earning his post-graduate degree from the Asian College of Journalism in 2020, he has mostly worked as a motorsports journalist. Apart from covering racing, his passion lies in making music primarily as a bass player.

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