2014 Coca-Cola 600 lineup and driver notes

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday 6 p.m., Fox

Saturday, May. 25, 2013

Lineup for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, with car number, driver, car make and comment:

St. (No.) Driver Car Jim Utter’s Comments
1. (11) Denny Hamlin Toyota Win the 600 and he kick-starts the comeback story of the year.
2. (78) Kurt Busch Chevrolet  He certainly has qualifying down. How about putting the whole race together?
3. (20) Matt Kenseth Toyota Kenseth starting up front is nearly always trouble for the competition.
4. (55) Mark Martin Toyota Nobody appreciates Charlotte more than Martin, which is why he is so good here.
5. (15) Clint Bowyer Toyota Last fall’s winner at Charlotte is looking for two in a row.
6. (5) Kasey Kahne Chevrolet If the Cup series ran only at Charlotte, he could be a nine-time champion.
7. (16) Greg Biffle Ford Being best in class in qualifying is not exactly a promising accolade.
8. (18) Kyle Busch Toyota Certainly has the speed. What he needs is the right strategy.
9. (1) Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Surprise wins at Charlotte are McMurray’s specialty.
10. (39) Ryan Newman Chevrolet Seems to be running on his own little Stewart-Haas Racing island.
11. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Definitely looking to improve on all-star race performance.
12. (48) Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet A favorite to win, and he isn’t even as good here as he used to be.
13. (99) Carl Edwards Ford Has taken over Kenseth’s role in the “Where did he come from?” question.
14. (24) Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 20 years ago in his first Charlotte start had second-place finish. He’d be happy with a repeat.
15. (29) Kevin Harvick Chevrolet No worries. This isn’t even a bad qualifying start for Harvick.
16. (42) Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Speed is not the issue. Finishing races is.
17. (56) Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Needs a good finish, but Charlotte isn’t one of his best tracks.
18. (43) Aric Almirola Ford This was half of last year’s 600 front row.
19. (9) Marcos Ambrose Ford Please see Almirola.
20. (2) Brad Keselowski Ford The champ is here?
21. (13) Casey Mears Ford Early-season favorite for “doing more with less” award.
22. (27) Paul Menard Chevrolet New deal in place at Richard Childress Racing; perhaps new motivation?
23. (36) J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Believe me, he is happy to be here.
24. (10) Danica Patrick Chevrolet Remember this spot. She likely won’t be here long.
25. (14) Tony Stewart Chevrolet Off to the worst start of his Cup career. That says something.
26. (38) David Gilliland Ford Will be a tough night for Front Row Motorsports.
27. (31) Jeff Burton Chevrolet Needs to make up ground quickly or it could be a long night.
28. (93) Travis Kvapil Toyota He’ll take his Whopper his way.
29. (21) Trevor Bayne Ford This is the Wood Brothers’ 1,400th Cup start, and Bayne still holds one of their best wins.
30. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Unlikely he will be back here for very long.
31. (22) Joey Logano Ford He always races better than he qualifies.
32. (98) Michael McDowell Ford He will start, but will he park?
33. (7) Dave Blaney Chevrolet He has a better chance at Eldora in Rossburg, Ohio.
34. (47) Bobby Labonte Toyota The (former) champ is here?
35. (34) David Ragan Ford He better hope this is a “Talladega” night.
36. (51) Regan Smith Chevrolet How much longer will team owner James Finch keep going?
37. (95) Scott SpeedFord Has far fewer starts and more Global RallyCross wins than in his Cup career.
38. (83) David Reutimann Toyota He won this race … once.
39. (30) David Stremme Toyota A close second in balloting for “doing more with less” award.
40. (32) Timmy Hill Ford600 miles is a long learning curve.
41. (87) Joe Nemechek Toyota It’s time to put the “Front Row” moniker to bed.
42. (33) Landon Cassill Chevrolet No solitaire in the car, please.
43. (35) Josh Wise Ford He’ll need an Ironman effort.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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