|Race 12 of 36 in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Date||May 24, 2015|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
|Distance||400 laps, 600 mi (960 km)|
|Weather||Mostly sunny with a temperature of 81 °F (27 °C); wind out of the south/southeast at 7 mph (11 km/h)|
|Average speed||147.803 mph (237.866 km/h)|
|Driver||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing|
|No. 19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip|
6.41 Million viewers
|Radio in the United States|
|Booth Announcers||Doug Rice, Mark Garrow and Brendan Gaughan|
|Turn Announcers||Rob Albright (1 & 2) and Brad Gillie (3 & 4)|
The 2015 Coca-Cola 600, the 56th running of the event, was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held on May 24, 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Contested over 400 laps on the 1.5 mile (2.42 km) asphalt speedway, it was the 12th race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Carl Edwards won the race, his first of the season and first with Joe Gibbs Racing. Greg Biffle finished second. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished third. Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Matt Kenseth won the pole for the race and led 26 laps on his way to a fourth-place finish. Martin Truex, Jr. led the most laps for the second consecutive race with a race high of 131 laps on his way to a fifth-place finish. The race had 22 lead changes among nine different drivers, as well as eight caution flag periods for 39 laps.
This was the 24th career victory for Carl Edwards, first at Charlotte Motor Speedway and fifth at the track for Joe Gibbs Racing. This win moved Edwards up to 16th in the points standings. Despite being the winning manufacturer, Toyota left Charlotte trailing Chevrolet by 71 points in the manufacturer standings.
The Coca-Cola 600 was carried by Fox Sports on the broadcast Fox network for the American television audience. The radio broadcast for the race was carried by the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Charlotte 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 Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Bank of America 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.
The 2,000 acres (810 ha) complex also features a state-of-the-art quarter mile (0.40 km) drag racing strip, ZMAX Dragway. It is the only all-concrete, four-lane drag strip in the United States and hosts NHRA events. Alongside the drag strip is a state-of-the-art clay oval that hosts dirt racing including the World of Outlaws finals among other popular racing events.
Kevin Harvick entered Charlotte with a 46-point lead over Martin Truex Jr. following his runner-up finish. Jimmie Johnson entered 48 back following winning at Kansas Speedway. Joey Logano entered 62 back. Dale Earnhardt Jr. entered 77 back following a third-place finish at Kansas.
For the weekend's race, the names on the windshield of the cars -- in lieu of the drivers last names -- had those of United States Armed Forces members who've died in the line of duty. "The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom." The Toyota pace car for the race will follow suit as well.
The entry list for the Coca-Cola 600 was released on Monday, May 18 at 3:41 p.m. Eastern time. Forty-eight drivers were entered for the race. Kyle Busch, who has missed the first eleven races of the season following being injured in an Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, made his first Sprint Cup Series start since the 2014 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Ryan Blaney made his first start since the 2015 GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. Jeff Gordon, whose first career win came in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600, made his 23rd and final Coca-Cola 600 start. Chase Elliott attempted and made his third career start in the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Jeff Green attempted to make the race in the No. 30 Chevrolet for The Motorsports Group which hadn't been entered in a race since the 2015 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mike Bliss returned to the seat of the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford that was las driven by Joey Gase in the 2015 SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway. Alex Kennedy drove the No. 33 Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet that had been driven by Ty Dillon the previous week at Kansas. Travis Kvapil attempted to make his first start of the season in the No. 39 Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet.
|1||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||28.085||192.273|
|2||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.173||191.673|
|3||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.178||191.639|
|Official first practice results|
Matt Kenseth won the pole with a time of 27.799 seconds and a speed of 194.252 mph (312.618 km/h). "I thought we had some speed in practice, just never really had the balance or the perfect lap," he said. "Everyone at JGR has been working honestly around the clock to get all these cars done and get us better stuff. It's one lap. It's 600 miles Sunday, but it's a good place to start. A good way to start the weekend." "Second is nice, but look at the difference and how much I needed to pick up," said Joey Logano. "That was a very fast lap by the 20, congratulations to them. I don't know how to go that fast. We've got a couple weeks to figure out how to beat the 20 car. He's very, very fast obviously. That was an amazing lap they ran there at the end." "Just trying to have confidence," Greg Biffle said after qualifying fourth. "We haven't seen it in race trim yet, whether it's us taking the tape off the front of it or what it might be - the change between our qualifying and race trim. We're struggling a bit right now, so we're just gonna work hard in practice and see what we can do." None of the five Hendrick Motorsports drivers made it to the final round of qualifying for the first time since Sonoma last June. "I'm just disappointed in that second run out," said Gordon, who would start 18th. "The car never got down to the white line. It was real tight."Mike Bliss, Jeb Burton, Brendan Gaughan, Jeff Green and Travis Kvapil all failed to make the race.
|1||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.913||27.869||27.799|
|2||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||28.281||28.074||28.003|
|3||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||28.116||27.954||28.018|
|4||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||28.131||28.080||28.092|
|5||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||28.175||28.070||28.124|
|6||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||28.000||28.088||28.142|
|7||55||David Ragan||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||27.993||27.975||28.180|
|8||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.962||27.861||28.232|
|9||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||28.157||28.117||28.233|
|10||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||28.178||28.063||28.373|
|11||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||28.240||28.104||28.446|
|12||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||28.045||27.932||29.124|
|13||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.257||28.165||--|
|14||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||28.131||28.167||--|
|15||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.205||28.171||--|
|16||21||Ryan Blaney (i)||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||28.183||28.174||--|
|17||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||28.076||28.209||--|
|18||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.994||28.220||--|
|19||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||28.207||28.250||--|
|20||10||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||28.249||28.279||--|
|21||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||28.290||28.298||--|
|22||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||28.116||28.332||--|
|23||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||28.269||28.424||--|
|24||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||28.293||29.394||--|
|25||95||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Ford||28.301||--||--|
|26||9||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||28.305||--||--|
|27||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||28.332||--||--|
|28||25||Chase Elliott (i)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.365||--||--|
|29||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||28.394||--||--|
|30||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||28.429||--||--|
|31||7||Alex Bowman||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||28.439||--||--|
|32||40||Landon Cassill (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||28.444||--||--|
|33||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.470||--||--|
|34||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||28.528||--||--|
|35||51||Justin Allgaier||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.538||--||--|
|36||46||Michael Annett||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.564||--||--|
|37||35||Cole Whitt||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.590||--||--|
|38||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||Ford||28.651||--||--|
|39||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.724||--||--|
|40||34||Brett Moffitt (R)||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||29.060||--||--|
|41||23||J. J. Yeley (i)||BK Racing||Toyota||29.078||--||--|
|42||83||Matt DiBenedetto (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||29.184||--||--|
|43||33||Alex Kennedy (R)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||29.746||--||--|
|Failed to qualify|
|44||26||Jeb Burton (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||28.679||--||--|
|45||32||Mike Bliss (i)||Go FAS Racing||Ford||28.894||--||--|
|46||39||Travis Kvapil (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||28.984||--||--|
|47||30||Jeff Green (i)||The Motorsports Group||Chevrolet||29.337||--||--|
|48||62||Brendan Gaughan (i)||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.807||--||--|
|Official qualifying results|
|1||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||28.031||192.664|
|2||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||28.172||191.680|
|3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.300||190.813|
|Official second practice results|
|1||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||28.624||188.653|
|2||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.869||187.052|
|3||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||28.879||186.987|
|Official final practice results|
The Coca-Cola 600 was scheduled to start at 6:20 p.m. but started one minute late with Matt Kenseth leading the field to the green flag. Kenseth wouldn't lead the first lap however, as teammate Carl Edwards took the lead. Kenseth found his way to the head of the field on lap 4. The first caution flew on lap 26. This was a scheduled competition caution that came after Charlotte Motor Speedway general manager Marcus Smith had turns 1 and 2 washed down overnight. Brad Keselowski was tagged for removing equipment from his pit box and restarted from the tail-end of the field. Aric Almirola was tagged for his crew being over the wall too soon and also restarted from the tail-end of the field.
The race restarted on lap 31 and Joey Logano shot out ahead of Kenseth to take the lead on lap 32. Denny Hamlin powered to the outside of Logano in turn 2 to take the lead on lap 44. Kevin Harvick took the lead on lap 65. As a round of green flag pit stops began, he surrendered the lead on lap 79 to make his pit stop and gave it to teammate Kurt Busch, who also was on pit road. This gave the lead to Keselowski, who pitted on lap 81 and gave the lead back to Harvick. The second caution flew on lap 90 when Jimmie Johnson got loose in turn 3 and spun out off the asphalt banking in turn 4. He saved the car and brought it to pit road. Keselowski chose not to pit and assumed the lead.
The race restarted on lap 95. Keselowski was no match for his teammate on fresher tires as Logano took the lead on lap 96. Kurt Busch, who took four tires during the previous caution, took the lead with ease on lap 98. The third caution flew on lap 136 when Justin Allgaier slammed the wall in turn 3.
The race restarted on lap 142, with Kurt Busch still out in front. The race settled into a green flag run. A second series of green flag pit stops began on lap 185, 15 laps to halfway. Busch surrendered the lead to pit on lap 190 and handed the lead to Johnson. He pitted on lap 191 and handed the lead to Edwards. He pitted the next lap and the lead cycled to Martin Truex Jr.Kasey Kahne was tagged for speeding on pit road and was forced to serve a drive-through penalty.
The fourth caution flew on lap 229 when Trevor Bayne collected the wall in turn 3, leaving debris on the racetrack. Ryan Newman was tagged for speeding on pit road and restarted from the tail-end of the field.
The race restarted on lap 236. Kurt Busch took back the lead on lap 238. Truex took back the lead on lap 263. The fifth caution flew on lap 273 when Johnson hit the wall near the entrance to pit road. "We had a really loose racecar," Johnson explained. "We came in with an aggressive mindset to bring an aggressive setup in the car, drive aggressively and take chances. We don't have anything to lose. Unfortunately, we didn't get long enough into the race for the aggressive setup to come into play. Another 30/40 laps, we would have had the car right where we wanted it. I just didn't make it there." "I could see it, I could see that opening and I could see the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) pit," Johnson said. "I was frightened that I was going to get through that hole. It wouldn't have been pretty for me, but to have teams and stuff there ... that was something I was staring at sliding for a long way. I was very thankful the SAFER barrier was there. I wish we could find a way to extend a wall out and redirect the car away from that opening, or close that opening up."
The race restarted on lap 333. Hamlin took the lead from Truex, Jr. with 67 laps to go. The eighth caution of the race flew with 64 laps to go when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall in turn 4, leaving debris on the racetrack.
The race restarted with 59 laps to go. Hamlin made an unscheduled stop with 38 laps to go for a loose wheel. Martin Truex Jr. reassumed the lead. He pitted with 22 laps to go and handed the lead to Harvick. He pitted the next lap and gave the lead to Edwards who drove his way to score the win.
"JGR is back and so is Toyota," said Edwards, who pitted on Lap 338 for fuel and was able to stretch it all the way to the finish as others ran out in the closing laps. "Darian Grubb is so good as a crew chief and when it comes down to fuel mileage, there isn't anyone else I'd want calling the shots like he did tonight. This is such a huge win." "I was hoping the guys in front of me would run too hard and run out of gas," said Earnhardt. "We had to try to go for a win. We didn't have a car fast enough to beat the '41' (Kurt Busch) or the '78' (Truex). We had to do something different. I like to gamble." Martin Truex Jr. finished fifth after leading a race high 131 laps. "I didn't even think fuel mileage strategy was an option," said Truex, who also led the most laps in the previous race at Kansas Speedway. "I felt I only needed to pass the No. 11 (Hamlin). We had a very fast car all night. It really hurts knowing that you had the fastest car and didn't win. I don't know what to do about fuel mileage races. I've never ever in my entire career come out on the right end of them." "We didn't make many adjustments throughout the race, the car was fast from the get-go," noted Truex. "Whatever we needed to do, Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and his engineering staff made the right calls. This is a talented team that works extremely hard and I want nothing more than to drive their car to victory lane."
In his first Cup Series points race since his injury, Kyle Busch finished eleventh. He was able to run the whole race, but in the event he couldn't finish, Joe Gibbs racing had Erik Jones ready to complete the race.
On the Wednesday following the race, NASCAR handed out penalties to three Sprint Cup teams.
As a result of these infractions, both teams received the last two choices in the pit stall selections, respective to qualifying results, for the following weekend's event at Dover International Speedway.
|1||3||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||400||47|
|2||4||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||400||42|
|3||15||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||400||41|
|4||1||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||400||41|
|5||10||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||400||41|
|6||19||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||400||38|
|7||6||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||400||38|
|8||5||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||400||37|
|9||8||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||400||36|
|10||14||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||400||35|
|11||17||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||400||33|
|12||33||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||400||32|
|13||2||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||400||32|
|14||23||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||400||30|
|15||18||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||400||29|
|16||11||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||400||28|
|17||21||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||399||27|
|18||28||25||Chase Elliott (i)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||399||0|
|19||22||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||399||25|
|20||24||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||399||24|
|21||12||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||399||23|
|22||20||10||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||398||22|
|23||34||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||398||21|
|24||26||9||Sam Hornish Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||398||20|
|25||9||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||398||19|
|26||31||7||Alex Bowman||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||397||18|
|27||27||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||397||17|
|28||37||35||Cole Whitt||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||396||16|
|29||30||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||395||15|
|30||25||95||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Ford||394||14|
|31||40||34||Brett Moffitt (R)||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||393||13|
|32||36||46||Michael Annett||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||393||12|
|33||39||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||392||12|
|34||42||83||Matt DiBenedetto (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||392||10|
|35||38||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||Ford||392||9|
|36||43||33||Alex Kennedy (R)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||389||8|
|37||29||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||382||7|
|38||41||23||J. J. Yeley (i)||BK Racing||Toyota||377||0|
|39||32||40||Landon Cassill (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||375||0|
|40||13||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||370||4|
|41||7||55||David Ragan||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||353||3|
|42||16||21||Ryan Blaney (i)||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||281||0|
|43||35||51||Justin Allgaier||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||135||1|
|Official Coca-Cola 600 race results|
Fox Sports covered their 15th race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mike Joy, former crew chief Larry McReynolds, and five-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Darrell Waltrip had the call in the booth for the race. Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch, and Matt Yocum handled pit road for the television side.
|Booth announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Larry McReynolds
Color commentator: Darrell Waltrip
PRN had the radio call for the race, which was simulcast on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Doug Rice, Mark Garrow, and Brendan Gaughan called the race in the booth when the field was racing down the front stretch. Rob Albright called the race from a scaffold outside turn 2 when the field was racing through turns 1 and 2. Brad Gillie called the race from atop the turn 4 suits when the field was racing through turns 3 and 4. Brett McMillan, Jim Noble, Steve Richards, and Doug Turnbull worked pit road for PRN.
|Booth announcers||Turn announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lead announcer: Doug Rice
Announcer: Mark Garrow
Announcer: Brendan Gaughan
|Turns 1 & 2: Rob Albright
Turns 3 & 4: Brad Gillie