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Joe Gibbs Racing: 2014 Coca Cola 600 weekend preview

Denny Hamllin is the defending pole winner for the 600
Denny Hamllin is the defending pole winner for the 600
Getty Images: Jared C. Tilton

It’s the end of the 10 days of speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the Nationwide Series History 300 on Saturday, May 24th and the Coca Cola 600 for the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, May 25th, and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler are ready for action at NASCAR’s “home track.”

Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, has yet to win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but did win the pole for the Coca Cola 600 last season. Hamlin has 10 top 10 finishes in 17 races at the 1.5-mile track, including back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2012. Last season, Hamlin finished fourth in the 600.

Busch, in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota on Sunday, is also winless at Charlotte, but has 12 top 10 finishes in 20 starts. Busch’s best finish in the 600 is third (2008, 2010 and 2012), and he has two runner-up finishes in the fall race (2010 and 2011). Busch is also racing the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series race on Saturday – and that record is another story completely. Busch has eight wins and 18 top 10 finishes in 21 starts in the Nationwide Series at Charlotte, including sweeping both races last season.

Kenseth, in the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota on Sunday night, has two wins and 15 top 10 finishes in 29 starts at Charlotte, including a Coca Cola 600 win in 2000. Last season, Kenseth has finishes of 15th and third in the May and October races, respectively. He’ll also be racing Saturday in the No. 20 GameStop/Mario Kart 8 Toyota – Kenseth has three wins and 13 top 10 finishes in 22 starts in the Nationwide Series, including a win in May 2011 with Roush Fenway Racing. Last year, Kenseth finished eighth and fifth in the two Charlotte races.

Sadler, in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota on Saturday, has five top 10 finishes in 14 races at Charlotte, with a best finish of second in October 2005. Last season, Sadler finished 13th and 36th in the two races.

Cup Series qualifying takes place Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. ET, with the Coca Cola 600 going green at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Nationwide Series qualifies Saturday morning at 10:40 a.m. ET, with the History 300 going green at 2:45 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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