2008 Coca-Cola 600
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (November 2014)|
|Race 12 of 36 in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season|
|Date||May 25, 2008|
|Official name||Coca-Cola 600|
|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)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)|
|Average speed||135.772 miles per hour (218.504 km/h)|
|Driver||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports|
|No. 9||Kasey Kahne||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||Fox Broadcasting Company|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds|
The 2008 Coca-Cola 600, the 49th annual event, is the longest race on the NASCAR schedule in terms of distance. It was the 12th race of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and was held at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, outside of Charlotte on Sunday, May 25. The USA telecast on Fox started at 5 PM US EDT with radio being handled by Sirius Satellite Radio and the Speedway Motorsports, Inc.-owned Performance Racing Network on terrestrial radio stations.
- Brian Pattie has taken over as crew chief of the #42 Dodge driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Jimmy Elledge left Chip Ganassi Racing on May 20, having only become the #42 crew chief after a swap with the #41 team and Donnie Wingo at the end of April.
- President and general manager H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler retired after this race, having served the speedway for 33 years.
Before Saturday's first practice session, both Haas CNC Racing cars - the #66 of Scott Riggs and the #70 Johnny Sauter - were impounded by NASCAR officials and taken to the research and development center for illeagal wing adjustments. As a result, they were forced to backup cars and will start at the rear of the starting lineup.
The 2008 Coca Cola 600 proved to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. A record number of green flag passes was set, as the COT car platform proved that it could provide good racing at someplace besides a superspeedway. Kyle Busch got off to the early lead, although he faded and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the lead in the early going. In much the same style as last year's 600, Earnhardt, Jr. had a very strong showing in the first half of the race, only to fade in the second. In a manner indicative of his entire season, Brian Vickers dominated the field halfway in, and appeared to be on the verge of ending his winless streak, when a cut tire sent him into the turn 4 wall while leading the field by an entire backstretch. Vickers limped to the pits to repair the damage, never to contend for the lead again that night. Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Busch then traded the lead amongst themselves several times after Vickers fell out of contention. Johnson, who was leading late in the race, fell out of the race with an engine failure. In the final stages of the race, fuel mileage came into play, as the leaders were just shy of making it on fuel. After pit stops cycled through with 10 laps to go, Stewart led the 2nd place car of Kahne by a large margin, and it appeared that it would be a cakewalk to the checkers for Stewart. However, luck was not on his side as in the same manner as Vickers, and Stewart cut a tire while leading with 2 laps to go, putting the victory in the lap of Kahne. With the win, Kahne completed the Charlotte sweep by following up his All Star race win with a win in the 600. Greg Biffle finished 2nd, Busch finished 3rd, while Jeff Gordon and Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the Top 5.
- "Weather information for the 2008 Coca-Cola 600". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- Utter, Jim (2008-05-20). "Montoya gets a 3rd crew chief for 2008 season". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- Poole, David (2008-05-20). "Finish line in sight for speedway's Wheeler". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved 2008-05-21.