We’re back in the middle of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (the 71st season!), with May and June giving fans some of the flagship editions we always look forward to. Every year we witness surprising underdog stories, the fall of titans, and some epic racing that reminds us why we love this sport.
Strap yourselves in for our thoughts and predictions on May and June’s upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Considering it’s the first race around the corner, we’re going to do a deep-dive analysis on the Coca-Cola 600, while also quickly previewing the Pocono 400 and the FireKeepers Casino 400.
When? Sunday, May 26, 2019 – 6:00 PM
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The takeaway from last week’s All-Star Race? Anything can happen in a race. If you had a look at all the predictions and odds before the All-Stars lined up, you probably didn’t put money on eventual winner Kyle Larson (we didn’t either!). Even sophisticated computer models didn’t predict his win. We’re confident he doesn’t really care that no one thought he’d make it; after all, he now has a million bucks to distract himself with.
Larson is probably still sipping on his victory champagne from the All-Star Race, but he won’t have time to celebrate for long. The Coca-Cola 600 is coming up this Sunday. Based on the All-Star performances across the board, we’re thinking that Larson, Johnson, Harvick, and Busch will perform once again. As WSN reported on their NASCAR predictor series, however, All-Star performance isn’t always a good indication of future performance. And we have to bear in mind that this was a race with no points at stake, so strategies differ. Even so, this Fantastic Four showed some solid stuff on the racetrack, so we’re confident they’re in with a shot.
Our pick to win, however? That’s Martin Truex Jr., who has walked away the winner in five of the last eleven editions. If you use similar races as a benchmark, he leads in laps led, driver rating, and average finishing position. While it’s no guarantee, he’s bound to put up a solid performance.
As a little side note, we’re also liking that NASCAR is going to run a 30-second remembrance moment for Memorial Day. It’s super important we continue to honour those who have made sacrifices for us; props to NASCAR for thinking the same thing.
When? Sunday, June 2, 2019 – 2:00 PM
Location: Pocono Raceway
We’ve had Charlotte Motor Speedway dominate for three races on the bounce, now it’s time to head over to the Pocono Raceway, aka the Tricky Triangle, for the Pocono 400. The qualifying races have been moved to June 1; we’re looking forward to finding out who will line up for the final proper.
Last year, Martin Truex Jr. managed to take home the honours. Will our pick for the Coca-Cola 600 manage to do it again? Considering the winner of this race doesn’t usually win the Pocono 400 as well, we’re going to say it’ll be a no. Unless, of course, we’re wrong about the 600! Which is entirely possible…
FireKeepers Casino 400
When? Sunday, June 9, 2019 – 2:00 PM
Location: Michigan International Speedway
400 miles of high-quality racing. One of only two races NASCAR Cup Series races in Michigan. And with it often happening on Father’s Day weekend, it usually delivers the best present a man could want (although not this year, boo!). Nevertheless, we’re willing to bet that plenty of dads will be dragging their families to this race regardless!
What we’re really looking forward to, perhaps selfishly, is the promise of an improved fan experience in 2019. With some of us arriving with the whole family in tow, it’s good to know the kids can enjoy live bands, other acts, and fireworks. The whole event has also been set up to be friendlier in general, which should be fantastic for building hype for the event and attracting a range of fans.
And there you have it. Three incredible races featuring some of the best athletes (yes, they’re athletes!) in the world; we can’t wait.