2007 Coca-Cola 600
|Race 12 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
|Date||May 27, 2007|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.414 km)
|Distance||400 laps, 600 mi (965.606 km)|
|Average speed||130.222 miles per hour (209.572 km/h)|
|Driver||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||Fox Broadcasting Company|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds|
The 2007 Coca-Cola 600, the 48th running of the race, is the twelfth race of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season that was held on Sunday, May 27, 2007, at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. This race is the longest by distance on the NASCAR calendar, and for the last decade and a half, has started in the late afternoon and ended at night under the lights.
Previously, this race had gone head-to-head against another famous automobile race held during the Memorial Day weekend in the United States, the Indianapolis 500. (However, the end of the Indy 500 and the start of this race were held simultaneously in 2007, due to a three-hour delay due to rain at "the Brickyard.")
Qualifying took place on the Thursday night before this race with Ryan Newman winning the pole position with a lap speed of 185.312 miles per hour. It was Newman's sixth pole on this track. Teammate Kurt Busch had the second-fastest lap. Both Red Bull Racing cars qualified for the same race for the third time, putting Brian Vickers and A.J. Allmendinger in the field. Michael Waltrip failed to qualify for the 11th straight race.
Casey Mears won for the first time as a NEXTEL Cup driver, followed by J.J. Yeley (best career Cup finish), Kyle Petty (first top-five finish since 1997), Reed Sorenson (best career Cup finish), and Brian Vickers (first top-5 ever for Toyota's Cup racing program). All the cars stayed on the track because of adequate fuel mileage, while other contenders like Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had to refuel at the end, hoping that the others would run out before the checkered flag.
On lap 54, there was an accident involving 12 cars, including all-star race winner Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr. and Johnny Sauter. On lap 62, points leader Jeff Gordon had a hard crash when Tony Raines ran into him and he spun into the infield. Coming back up the track, he was hit by A.J. Allmendinger and it jacked his car up in the air as it hit the wall. Gordon failed to finish this race for the fifth straight year, and his points lead over Johnson dropped to 132 points.
It was Darian Grubb's third NEXTEL Cup victory, but the first as a full-time crew chief. Grubb had won two races in 2006 at the #48 when Chad Knaus was ejected, and subsequently suspended, for violations at the Daytona 500.
Top ten results:
|1.||#25||Casey Mears||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2.||#18||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3.||#45||Kyle Petty||Dodge||Petty Enterprises|
|4.||#41||Reed Sorenson||Dodge||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|5.||#83||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Team Red Bull|
|6.||#20||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7.||#88||Ricky Rudd||Ford||Robert Yates Racing|
|8.||#8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt Incorporated|
|9.||#11||Denny Hamlin||Chevrolet||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10.||#48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|