NASCAR Cup Series Picks: Coca Cola 600

The heat is on!

No, I’m not talking about your thermostat during this uncharacteristically cold Spring here in America.

The NASCAR Cup Series as well as the Xfinity Series are back!

The Darlington race this past Sunday seems like a distant memory to me.

We were able to secure our third winner picked in the first 5 races when we took Kevin Harvick to secure the 50th win of his illustrious career.

Denny Hamlin was our other pick.

Normally, we take 3 drivers but it was nice to only pick 2 and snag a winner.

Wednesday night’s race also in Darlington really irked me.

I came off of Kevin Harvick in the second race because he is 44-years-old and just had an emotional moment getting that big #50.

That proved to be a smart move but coming off of Denny Hamlin was a mistake.

There was no good reason not to pick him again other than the fact that I did for the first race and some section of my brain thought it was a good idea to look elsewhere for a winner.

The end of the race was climactic/anti-climactic.

What does that even mean?

Well, see for yourself.

Denny Hamlin was only in first place on that restart because he didn’t pit with everyone else to get new tires.

Why not?

Well, he had already used up all of his new tires so he would just be pitting to replace worn tires with other worn tires.

Every attentive fan knows that the Hendrick Motorsport Chevys are the fastest cars right now and with new tires and more than 20 laps remaining, Chase Elliott was 100% going to overtake Hamlin.

What are teammates for, though?

Kyle Busch, one of the best race car drivers of our generation “misjudged” Chase’s bumper by a good 18 inches…

Sure, he did.

The commentators were doing everything they could to not call it like it was but it was apparent that Kyle wrecked Elliott on purpose to save his teammate and also put himself in a position to win the race.

It was only a few minutes, though, after the middle finger flew when the race ended with the cars sitting single file on pit road.

Rained out.

Denny got the win.

We took him to out-race Kyle Busch which hit but overall, we had a rough day betting the race.

Our winner picks of Martin Truex Jr and Alex Bowman weren’t really close.

I thought Erik Jones would have had a good chance to win if they would have had another restart. He was (+1800). That would have been really nice but it’s okay.

We have still picked a winner in 3 of 6 races and hopefully after Sunday night, we will be back above the .500 mark!

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us this week.

Let’s take a look at those and make our predictions for a winner and/or top 3 finisher at the Coca Cola 600 from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Alex Bowman: +1600

Watch out, now!

Alex Bowman is a very good race car driver!

He already has a win this year at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and was just inches away from clearing Kevin Harvick to take the checkered flag this past Sunday at Darlington.

His team, Hendrick Motorsports, easily has the fastest cars on the track right now, although the boys over at Joe Gibbs Racing are starting to come on after a slow start to 2020.

I didn’t pick Alex Bowman to win this past Sunday at Darlington when he came so close.

This wasn’t because of his abilities, the strength of his car or team, and definitely not because of his success in 2020.

He had zero positive race history.

In 5 starts, he had zero top ten finishes.

He looked pretty darn good and nearly won the thing on Sunday.

I say this because his track history at Charlotte is not very good either.

  • 7 starts
  • 2 top tens
  • 0 top fives

That’s better than 0-5.

Bowman does have a win at Charlotte in 2017 when he was driving for the Xfinity Series.

Fast car, great driver, young, hungry, detail-oriented…

I believe Alex Bowman has what it takes to be a top 5 driver in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series.

A win here at Charlotte would really be special.

His odds are too tall for us to turn away.

My Pick
Alex Bowman

Denny Hamlin: +1100

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t go with Martin Truex Jr here.

I’m wondering the same thing myself.

I went back and forth between these two teammates several times and I had to side with the Virginia-native simply because of the number by his name.

11 to 1 is a lot better than the 6 to 1 we would be getting on Marty from New Jersey.

If you look at the last 10 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, you see Truex has 7 top tens and 3 victories. That is by far better than any other driver.

Hamlin is second, though, behind his teammate in finishing position and top five’s over the last 10 races.

Martin Truex Jr has one top ten finish in 6 races this year and that was Sunday at Darlington.

Last year, Martin finished inside the top ten at Vegas, Phoenix, and Fontana in the first month of the season.

I could see him winning this week and it being his coming out party and all but he has yet to develop a winning chemistry with his new crew chief.

Denny Hamlin, though, well ever since early in 2019, he looks more and more like the best version of himself.

When Michael Jordan sponsors you, you better win!

I kinda like Chase Elliott and Joey Logano this week if you wanted to make some smaller wagers and spread your money around.

I’m sticking with Alex and Denny to get it done Sunday.

My Pick
Denny Hamlin

In Conclusion

I would say let’s go racin’ but we’ve been racing!

It’s turning into a race between the races for myself and I can’t imagine the hours NASCAR teams are working right now to get ready for their third race in a week.

At least Darlington and Charlotte are only a couple of hours apart.

Remember, we will get another shot at picking a winner at Charlotte.

NASCAR’s Cup Series is running two races here just like they did at Darlington.

Qualifying for this race isn’t until Sunday afternoon just hours before they race in the evening.

That’s why I don’t want to go too heavy on our bets today.

We picked winners and top 3 finishes and none of them hit on Wednesday night. We are still in the green as far as our 2020 NASCAR bankroll is concerned.

A win for either of these drivers would be sweet, especially when they have such high-paying odds.

Get your bets in now or wait until qualifying on Sunday to see who’s speedy.

Enjoy the longest race of the season in Charlotte!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.