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Ford Performance NASCAR: Charlotte Advance

Tuesday, May 24 352

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: CHARLOTTE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ADVANCE

The annual Memorial Day Weekend will once again feature a number of major NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, highlighted by the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.  Prior to that, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Friday night) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (Saturday afternoon) will be in action.

This Week’s Schedule:

Friday, May 27 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

Saturday, May 28 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 1 p.m. ET (FS1)

Sunday, May 29 – NASCAR Cup Series, 6 p.m. ET (FOX)

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT CMS

  • Ford has 32 all-time series wins at CMS.
  • Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski have oval wins at CMS with Ford while Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Roval event in 2018.
  • Keselowski is the last Ford driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 (2020).

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT CMS

  • Ford has 22 series wins at CMS.
  • Riley Herbst sat on the pole for this race a year ago.
  • Brad Keselowski was the last Ford winner at CMS (2018).

FORD IN THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT CMS

  • Ford is still looking for its first series win at CMS.
  • Zane Smith has a pair of top 10 finishes in two career starts at CMS.
  • Tanner Gray has two starts and Hailie Deegan one at CMS.

BLANEY HOPING TO KEEP MOMENTUM GOING

Ryan Blaney’s win in Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race wasn’t a surprise to many considering the fact he has been among the fastest drivers all season.  Blaney, who is second in the point standings, is first among all drivers in poles (3) and stage wins (4) while ranking second in laps led (371). His best finish in the Coca-Cola 600 came two years ago when he finished third.

HERBST CONTINUING IMPROVEMENT

Riley Herbst is still looking for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, but the improvement he has made this season is evident.  After 12 races this season, Herbst is sitting eighth in the point standings with nine top-10 finishes in 12 starts.  A year ago at this time, he had managed only three top-10 runs and was 14th in the standings.

ZANE SMITH LOOKS FOR FOURTH TRUCK SERIES WIN OF 2022

Zane Smith leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with three wins this season and heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway looking to add one more.  This marks his first appearance in a Ford F-150 at the 1.5-mile track, but in two previous career starts he has finished third and 10th.  Smith, who is fifth in the regular-season point standings, leads all drivers with seven top-10 finishes in nine starts while ranking second with four others in top-5 runs with four.

COCA-COLA 600 HIGHLIGHTS

HOLMAN & MOODY CONQUER THE WORLD

Ford won the Coca-Cola 600 for the first time on May 27, 1962 when the race was still referred to as the World 600.  This marked the third running of NASCAR’s longest race and in the end it was Nelson Stacy, behind the wheel of a 1962 Holman & Moody Ford, that ended up in victory lane.  Stacy passed David Pearson, who developed engine trouble with eight laps to go, and went on to beat Joe Weatherly to the finish line by 32 seconds in posting the third of his four career victories.  Fellow Holman & Moody teammate Fred Lorenzen finished third.  The win was Stacy’s second straight after he took the checkered flag two weeks earlier in Darlington.

THREE MAJORS FOR DJ IN ONE SEASON

Dale Jarrett won his share of major races during a sterling career in the NASCAR Cup Series, but no season may have been better than his first year driving at Robert Yates Racing in 1996.  After winning the season-opening Daytona 500, his second of three triumphs in that event, Jarrett came to Charlotte in search of winning the Coca-Cola 600 for the first time.  Jarrett, who qualified 15th, wasn’t much of a factor when the race started, but when the sun went down his No. 88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford Taurus came to life.  He took the lead for the first time on lap 175 and ended up leading 199 of the final 226 laps for RYR to win going away.  Jarrett eventually went on to win the Brickyard 400 a couple of months later to give him three of the sports biggest victories in one season.

FIRST-TIME WINNER

Matt Kenseth joined an exclusive club when he made the Coca-Cola 600 his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in 2000.  Kenseth, who was in his rookie season driving for car owner Jack Roush, joined David Pearson (1961), Jeff Gordon (1994) and Bobby Labonte (1995) as drivers who made the marquee event their first series win.  Kenseth, who nearly won in Fontana (CA) a couple weeks earlier before settling for third, left no doubt on this night as he led the final 26 laps and beat Bobby Labonte to the finish line by half-a-second.

KESELOWSKI ADDS ANOTHER JEWEL

Brad Keselowski became the first Ford driver since Mark Martin in 2002 to win the Coca-Cola 600 when he held off Jimmie Johnson in an overtime finish to take the checkered flag in 2020.  The race ended up going five laps past the advertised distance and ended with Keselowski adding another crown jewel victory with Ford to go with his wins in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis (2018) and Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (2018). 

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