The NASCAR Cup Series season continues on Sunday with the Coca-Cola 600. This event at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the annual Memorial Day Weekend race honoring military members that sacrificed their lives, and this year's iteration will follow suit. Here's when the race takes place.
The green flag will wave ahead of the Coca-Cola 600 at 6 p.m. ET. FOX will broadcast the race while Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon serve as the commentary team in the booth. The FOX Sports app will also stream the race for those that have a subscription. The app is available on Smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOs, Android phones and Roku.
The Coca-Cola 600 will feature special paint schemes on every vehicle as the drivers honor fallen service members. There will be tributes to the United States Armed Forces, and the cars will each bear the name of a specific military member. For example, former Cup Series champion Kurt Busch will feature Construction Electrician Petty Officer Second Class (US Navy) Phil Grieser's name on his No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro. Grieser served with team member Doug Newell's father in Vietnam. He died from injuries suffered in a rocket attack on May 18, 1969.
"When you connect a few paths, it seems like the power and the strength comes together. And it's really neat that we can honor somebody that's that close to our race team on our car this weekend," Busch said in an interview with PopCulture.com. "And it's quite an honor to carry anybody's name around. But, when you're able to have that crew member look you in the eye and give you that true sense of gratitude and appreciation, that goes a long way. And I'm really proud of the efforts that were put forth."
Unlike the first two races at Darlington Raceway (The Real Heroes 400, Toyota 500), the Coca-Cola 600 will feature a qualifying lap. The drivers will try to set the best time around Charlotte Motor Speedway to determine their starting order for Sunday evening. Qualifying starts at 2 p.m. ET and airs on FS1.
Considering that the Coca-Cola 600 covers 400 laps and 600 miles, there are concerns about the drivers' stamina. The drivers traveled a combined 665 miles in a span of four days as NASCAR returned to action following the postponement. Additionally, the drivers will contend with changing conditions as the day turns to night.
Aric Almirola spoke about this factor ahead of the 2019 Coca-Cola 600. He told Reuters that the cars have less grip when the sun is out and that they "slip and slide" more frequently. Once the sun goes down, the cars get more grip and go faster in the later stages.