Race Recap for the Coca-Cola 600
Date: May 28, 2017
Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into four stages (100 laps/100 laps/100 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 5th (386 points, 105 out of first)
Race Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
● Kyle Busch started second, finished first.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue driver raced to the lead early, securing the top spot by lap two.
● Busch gained a lead of almost a full second over second place by lap 15.
● After pitting under green on lap 66, Busch worked his way back up to second by lap 78.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Camry took the lead again on lap 91 and held it to secure the win in Stage 1, his third stage win of the season, earning 10 bonus points.
● The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion led three times for a total of 37 laps during Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
● Busch started fifth, finished fourth.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue driver ran steadily in the top-five for the first half of the stage.
● Rain reigned during Stage 2, and the red flag was displayed on lap 143.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Camry took four tires and fuel on lap 150 once the red flag was lifted during Stage 2.
● Busch restarted Stage 2 in the sixth position after the red-flag delay of 1 hour, 39 minutes and 56 seconds.
● Just before the lap-174 caution period Busch had raced his way to the third spot.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue crew gained a spot on pit road during the lap-174 caution and restarted in the third spot on lap 178, after the No. 27 opted not to pit.
● Busch finished Stage 2 in fourth, earning seven bonus points.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 201-300):
● Busch started fourth, finished second.
● The M&M’S Red, White, and Blue crew came in at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires and fuel. They restarted Stage 3 in the fourth spot on lap 207.
● Busch moved into the third position on lap 224. He was the fastest car on the track by two-tenths that lap.
● On lap 234, Busch reported a free-handling condition in the center of the turn.
● Busch moved into the second spot with less than 20 laps remaining in the stage.
● He finished Stage 3 in the second spot, earning nine bonus points.
Stage 4 Recap (Laps 301-400):
● Busch started second, finished second.
● Busch secured an early lead in the final stage, overtaking the top spot on the initial restart.
● The No. 18 team opted to come to pit road during the lap-328 caution period for four tires and fuel. Busch won the race off pit road.
● Busch relinquished the top spot on the lap-332 restart, settling into the second position.
● The Red, White, and Blue M&M’S crew pitted under green on lap 367 for four tires and fuel.
● As green-flag stops cycled through, Busch worked his way up to fourth racing behind the 78. The two Toyota drivers were unable to get around the Nos. 48 and 3, who had opted not to pit.
● Busch ultimately was able to race around the Nos. 48 and 78 within the final five laps of the stage to finish second.
● Busch led five times for 63 laps.
● This is Busch’s fifth top-five and sixth top-10 finish of the 2017 season.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“This M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Camry was awesome tonight. It was just super fast. I mean we had one of the fastest cars all night long and then the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was probably the fastest car. There at the end, somehow we ran him down. You know he got a straightaway out on us, but there that last 100 laps we were able to get back to him and pass him so you know that was promising for us there at the end in order to get a second-place finish, but man just so so disappointed. I don’t know. We ran our own race. We did what we needed to do and it wasn’t – it wasn’t the right game. We came up short and finish second.”
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday, June 4 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.