2005 Coca-Cola 600
|Race 12 of 36 in the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series|
Layout of Lowe's Motor Speedway
|Date||May 29, 2005|
|Location||Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
|Distance||400 laps, 600 mi (965.606 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 80.6 °F (27.0 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)|
|Average speed||114.698 mph (184.589 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Brian Vickers||Hendrick Motorsports|
|No. 48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds|
The 2005 Coca-Cola 600, the 46th running of the race, was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race held on May 29, 2005, at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The race was the twelfth of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season. The pole position was won by Penske Racing's Ryan Newman, while the race was won by Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports. The race featured the most caution flags in Cup history, as well as the most lap leaders (21) in track history.
Lowe's Motor Speedway is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina, United States 13 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina. The complex features a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend and the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, as well as the UAW-GM Quality 500. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area. The track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) with Marcus G. Smith (son of Bruton Smith) as track president.
53 drivers attempted to qualify for the race, the most since the 2005 Daytona 500, which featured 57 cars attempting to make the field. The pole position was won by Ryan Newman, his 18th career pole, after recording a lap time of 27.981 seconds and speed of 192.988 miles per hour (310.584 km/h), surpassing Mike Bliss' record of 28.540 seconds and 189.280 miles per hour (304.617 km/h) set at the NEXTEL Open held six days earlier; the top 18 qualifiers eventually passed Bliss' record. Jason Leffler, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., Hermie Sadler, Boris Said, Jeff Fuller, Carl Long, Tony Raines, Mike Garvey, Kirk Shelmerdine and Greg Sacks failed to qualify for the race.
The race was marred by a Cup Series record 22 caution flags. The first flew on lap 7 for Martin Truex, Jr.'s accident in turn 2, followed by Kurt Busch's crash on lap 11. Another caution was flown for debris on lap 94, and on lap 102, five cars (Jimmy Spencer, Scott Riggs, Mike Skinner, Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip) crashed on the backstretch. Another debris caution was flown on lap 115, and on the 140th lap, Johnny Sauter crashed in turn 3. Elliott Sadler's spin on lap 151 brought out another caution, and on lap 163, Busch was involved in another crash in turn 2. On lap 201, Scott Wimmer was spun, and Travis Kvapil's crash on lap 210 caused the tenth caution of the race. On lap 217, Truex, Sterling Marlin and Casey Mears crashed in turn 2, and on lap 228, Marlin and Mears' Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray crashed in turn 2. On lap 235, Gordon was involved in an accident in turn 4, and six laps later, McMurray was spun in turn 4. On lap 247, Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Matt Kenseth and Terry Labonte were involved in a crash on the frontstretch. The crash caused Labonte to be taken to the Carolinas Medical Center, where he was eventually released. After a debris caution on lap 267, Dave Blaney was spun on the frontstretch on lap 290. On lap 308, another caution was flown for an oil spill on the track, and another debris caution was flown on lap 357. The twentieth caution of the race occurred on lap 368 when Blaney's car stalled while entering pit road. On lap 380, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers (who led the most laps of the race with 98), Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Bill Elliott crashed in turn 1, while the final and 22nd caution was thrown on lap 392 for Joe Nemechek and Wimmer's accident in turn 4. The last caution eventually forced the red flag to be flown, temporarily pausing the race.
Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson, the only Hendrick Motorsports driver in contention after teammates Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Terry Labonte had crashed and Kyle Busch had fallen back, was in fourth for the final restart with five laps remaining. After passing pole-sitter Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards, Johnson beat Bobby Labonte to the finish by .027 seconds, the closest finish in Lowe's Motor Speedway history since the introduction of electronic scoring. The win was Johnson's third consecutive 600, a NASCAR record, passing six drivers (Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip (twice), Neil Bonnett and Buddy Baker) for the record.  Edwards, Jeremy Mayfield and Newman rounded out the top five, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex, Jr., Dale Jarrett, Ken Schrader and Rusty Wallace closed out the top ten.
- Weather information for the 2005 Coca-Cola 600 at the Old Farmer's Almanac
- "THE RACE: Coca Cola 600". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "TV RATINGS 2005". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "2005 Coca-Cola 600". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Bernstein, Viv (May 30, 2005). "When Dust Settles, Johnson Is First Again at Coca-Cola 600". The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "By the Numbers: Charlotte". NASCAR. May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Ryan, Nate (May 21, 2012). "He's the man again: Jimmie Johnson the Coke 600 favorite". USA Today. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "Jimmie Johnson Wins The Coca-Cola 600". Charlotte Motor Speedway. May 30, 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
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