Bucket list: Earnhardt seeking Coca-Cola 600 victory

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since 1993, making July 22, 2018 the 47th visit to the track, and the only visit in the six-state New England region.

The longest race of the year tends to favor veteran drivers who have experienced the 600-mile haul at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and polesitter Kevin Harvick seems poised to lead a fast pack of Stewart-Haas Racing Fords around the 1.5-mile oval.

Kyle Busch, the All-Star race victor Saturday at the track, will start alongside Harvick on the front row.

Dillon celebrated by diving head first into the infield grass. The Hall of Famer and seven-time champion died on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 and owner Richard Childress did not use the "3" again until Dillon, his grandson, made his Cup debut in 2014.

"Can you believe it?"

As posted on the official NASCAR website, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday, May 28 at 6 p.m., capping off the racing weekend. The last time the two celebrated was when Earnhardt won at Talladega on October 15, 2000, four months before The Intimidator's death in a horrific crash at Daytona.

"That was a hell of a call, Justin", Childress said, smiling.

POINTS LOST: Kyle Larson had his worst finish of the season (33rd) striking the wall twice and being forced to the garage on Lap 293 after he got loose in Turn 3 and sustained a hard swipe that caused irreparable damage.

"It didn't make much sense to do anything else but that, really", said Alexander, who replaced Slugger Labbe as Dillon's crew chief last Monday.

Dillon hasn't run consistently well in 2017, entering the Coca-Cola 600 22nd in points. The No. 3, Dillon said, "was the best of all time".

There's not much more I can add to that.

"It hasn't sunk in".

When asked if he's surprised that Dillon had enough gas to reach the finish line, Busch said, "I'm not surprised by anything". We're in the Chase.

Dillon did his signature belly slide celebration in the damp grass at Charlotte, outlasting a rain delay of nearly 1 hour, 40 minutes — and several established drivers to take his first checkered flag.

The Texas Legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes those two races eligible for the state's Major Events Reimbursement Program, the same fund that's used to help attract big events such as the Super Bowl, the NCAA Tournament's Final Four and Formula One's U.S. Grand Prix.

After Truex Jr.'s final stop for fuel, he set his sights on the lead and charged through the field on his way toward the front.

Johnson pitted for fuel for the last time on Lap 330.

"This place is tough", he said.

Third stage: Denny Hamlin won the third stage, even as Truex continued to dominate, leading 195 of the first 300 laps.

Matt Kenseth ran fourth, followed by Joe Gibbs racing teammate Denny Hamlin, as Toyotas claimed positions two through five.

Harvick will start on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday after turning a lap of 193.424 miles per hour on the 1 1/2-mile oval, while Larson will begin NASCAR's longest race at the rear of the field after his No. 42 Chevy failed to get through prequalifying inspection in time for him to make a qualifying lap.

  • Julie Sanders