NASCAR Drivers Talk about the Coca-Cola 600
Since Joe Lee Johnson won the inaugural event in 1960, the Coca-Cola 600 has been regarded as one of the toughest and most prestigious events on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Several members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family recently took time to talk about the May 25 race.
JEFF BURTON: ¿I¿ve been fortunate to win the Coca-Cola 600 twice. It¿s a big event, one of the biggest. A lot of things go into winning the race, so that makes the Coca-Cola 600 really, really special to the teams. It¿s a special weekend. When they turn those lights on in Charlotte, it¿s just electric.¿
KURT BUSCH: ¿It¿s the beginning of summer with Memorial Day weekend. The heat¿s there. Everybody is happy. Everybody is enjoying themselves¿it¿s just a good time of the year. I hold the Coca-Cola 600 up as one of the toughest races and one of the most prestigious races to win.¿
GREG BIFFLE: ¿There is a lot of focus on the Coca-Cola 600. Lowe¿s Motor Speedway still plagues me. It¿s a tough race track, a very tough race track, and it keeps throwing us curve balls.¿
DALE JARRETT: "It¿s a race that I¿ve watched since I was a kid. Just the name¿600¿you know it¿s going to be a long afternoon. Obviously, you want to win everywhere, but you have the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Coca-Cola 600. Those are three races that I have been fortunate to win and the Coke 600 trophy goes right at the top of the shelf.¿
MICHAEL WALTRIP: "Wow, what a race and what it has meant to our sport over the years. It¿s one of our most important races and I¿m glad that¿s where I got my start.¿
ELLIOTT SADLER: ¿The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the year. It starts in the daytime and goes into the night which makes it a lot of fun for the fans. And, it¿s right here at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway¿everybody¿s backyard. Coca-Cola does so much with NASCAR. With the track being close to all the shops, everybody seems like they are more involved in this race than any other.¿
RICKY RUDD: ¿To me, it¿s a little extra pressure when you go to Charlotte because you¿ve got all your neighbors, you¿ve got friends, you¿ve got family and you¿ve got not only all the drivers but all the crew members. So to me there has always been a little more pressure at the Coca-Cola 600. You want to do well in front of the hometown crowd.¿
TONY STEWART: ¿Since it¿s the Coke 600, it¿s important to us as drivers in the Coke Racing Family. We feel like it¿s our race to a certain degree. Plus, it¿s in Charlotte where we all are based so it¿s kind of like our hometown race. To be a part of the Coke Racing Family and know that it¿s the Coke 600, that makes it special.¿
KEVIN HARVICK: ¿No body wants to look bad in front of their friends and family¿at least I don¿t. The Coca-Cola 600 is on the list of races I want to win and if you put your name on the list of drivers who have won the 600, you are with a group of people who have accomplished a lot in our sport.¿
KYLE PETTY: ¿You can see it in a guy¿s eyes when he gets to the race track. Some of the Roush teams, the Hendrick teams, the Gibbs teams, some of the guys that work for us that live in this area¿you can see that they want to have bragging rights come Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when they go to the local restaurant or watering hole and have a Coca-Cola. They want to be able to say, ¿Hey, we won the race, not you guys.¿¿
Good seats are still available for the Coca-Cola 600 starting at $35 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.