Since the 1960s, NASCAR's longest race has competed against the Indianapolis 500. It has outlived the qualities that previously distinguished it. The 600-mile race held on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day occurs for the same reason that the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 do... its popularity has declined over time.
The Coca-Cola 600 was created in 1934 by Bill France, who wanted to bring more attention to his sport. He did this by having more than just one race per week. Previously, there had been only two races per year. Now there are four to six races per season. The idea behind this new format was to have a championship race each week which would lead up to the grand finale on Memorial Day Weekend.
France also decided to make the race longer to increase its importance. It used to be 300 miles before it was changed to 600 in 1996. Today, the race is held on the same weekend as the Indianapolis 500 but they are not competing with each other (except for the champion). The 600 will always take place on May 30 while the Indy 500 happens on April 9.
They both use the same track in Charlotte, North Carolina called Rockingham Speedway. The 600 goes for 60 laps during the afternoon session and then repeats itself after nightfall.
The Indy 500 is 500 miles long, hence the "500" component of the name. The drivers complete that distance by completing 200 laps of the 2.5-mile oval circuit layout at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race has been called the "Indy 500" since it was established in 1911.
The first Indianapolis 500 was held on May 30, 1911. The event took place during the inaugural season of American auto racing's National Association. Frank Kuchel won the pole and the race with his De Dion rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The total prize money offered for the race was $10,000 (1911 dollars).
The Indianapolis 500 is the only major race of its type that is open to cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. Other races may offer separate classes for each type of motor vehicle but none that combine them all into one race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the only venue that hosts this particular event. The term "Indianapolis 500" is used throughout the world to refer to this race.
In 1914, the name of the race was changed to honor its founder, Carl Fisher. In 1927, the word "Derby" was dropped from the name.
Stewart, Tony Only four drivers have competed in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day: Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, John Andretti, and Kurt Busch. Only Tony Stewart has ever completed all 1,100 miles in a single day. The race is split into two segments, with drivers taking part in one or other of these races depending on their class. There are several major events going on during the weekend besides the main races. These include the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete Beach, and the AAA Auto Racing Festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart - 14 victories, 2004 to 2015 Tony Stewart was the most successful driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500, winning fourteen times between 1990 and 2014. He also won the Coca-Cola 600 seven times between 2001 and 2015. A three-time winner of the Daytona 500, he is one of only four drivers to win the three biggest races in American auto racing. The others are Bill France Sr., Jim Clark, and Richard Petty.
Alfred Dunhill Van Stratten became known as Alfred I. DuPont after he sold his interest in the company to the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. DuPont remained the majority shareholder until 1999 when it was reduced to 37 percent due to an accounting change.
Coca-Cola 400 600
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|Distance||600 mi (965.606 km)|
|Laps||400 All 4 stages: 100 each|
|Previous names||World 600 (1960–1984) Coca-Cola World 600 (1985) Coca-Cola 600 (1986–2001, 2003–) Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 (2002)|
|Most wins (driver)||Darrell Waltrip (5)|
The Coca-Cola 600, formerly known as the World 600, is an annual 600-mile (970 km) NASCAR Cup Series points race held on a Sunday over Memorial Day weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The inaugural race, held in 1960, was also the inaugural event at the new Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race has been won by four drivers: Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In terms of constructors' championships, Chevrolet has won the most races with 24 while Ford has won 13.
The world premiere of the film Gone With The Wind took place at the Coca-Cola 600 on May 11, 1939. The racing film, which later became a classic, was directed by William Wyler and starred Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The movie's ending scene, in which both characters are killed off, caused such a public outcry that it had to be released in reels so that patrons could see it.
The first Coke 600 was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, 1960. The event was sponsored by Coca-Cola at the time but now carries the name of its main sponsor, PepsiCo. Of the 10,000 seats available for purchase at the speedway, all but 50 were sold before the first race began. The winner's share of $10,000 made this event especially important in the early years of NASCAR.
The race was first called the Southern 500 until 1995 when it became the World 600 to honor the company's former president, Robert W. Woodruff.
The race is the longest of the season and has the most expensive prize money, with $5 million up for grabs. It has been run every year since its inception in 1959 except for 1964 when it was not held because of the U.S. Civil War moratorium on military action. The race is also unique among NASCAR races in that it is scheduled before the start of May, well after Easter.
NASCAR's top series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Teams compete in either three or four consecutive races during each season, depending on the number of classes in the series. A fifth race, the Camping World Truck Series Final Four, was added this season.
Coca-Cola has partnered with NASCAR since 1998 when it began selling Coke products during the telecast of that year's Winston 500.
What drivers said following the Coca-Cola 600 Hendrick Motorsports has set the gold standard for race team performance with almost 40 years of dominance. Rick Hendrick has already established his name as a NASCAR Hall of Famer, and now he adds another remarkable achievement to his illustrious NASCAR career. The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17 will be his 36th race win, making him the winningest active driver in the sport.
Hendrick started his first NASCAR race at age 21 in 1980, when he drove an old car owned by his father down the track during a practice session for Bill Elliott's team. He went on to finish last that day, but he came back the next week and finished 11th. Over time, he worked his way up through the ranks, winning several races along the way. In 2003, he became only the second man after Richard Petty to win the same race three times when he captured the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
He is also one of only four men to have won the prestigious championship three times (the others are Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson).
Hendrick has been married to wife Debbie for more than 20 years and they have two children together. She was formerly a racecar driver herself who competed in the 1970s, earning $10,000 for finishing third in her debut race.