Charlotte Motor Speedway was NASCAR’s first true intermediate superspeedway after it was built in 1960. With it being a home game for virtually all NASCAR teams, races at Charlotte are some of the most important on the schedule. With this weekends Coca-Cola 600 now being the only event held on the traditional 1.5 mile quad-oval, this race takes on some more uniqueness than before.
Some drivers have gotten a true handle on the 1.5 mile race track. Here are five drivers who dominate at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
5. Denny Hamlin
By the Numbers: 31 races; 1 win; 11 top 5s; 20 top 10s; 11.9 avg. finish; 395 laps led
Breakdown: It’s strange to see that the driver with the current best average finish at the track amongst drivers with five or more starts. With only two DNFs at the track, Hamlin is always running and in contention at Charlotte. Last year, he finally got that elusive first win at the track by winning a duel with his teammate Kyle Busch for the win in the Coca-Cola 600.
4. Kyle Busch
By the Numbers: 34 races; 1 win; 16 top fives; 21 top 10s; 14.0 avg. finish; 1,486 laps led
Breakdown: Kyle Busch has been Mr. Consistent at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He has led laps and had dominant cars, but he has finished second an excruciating five times at the track. However, his most dominant performance came in the 2018 Coca-Cola 600 where he would lead 377 laps for his only win at the track.
3. Kevin Harvick
By the Numbers: 40 races; 3 wins; 10 top 5s; 21 top 10s; 14.6 avg. finish; 605 laps led
Breakdown: Kevin Harvick’s nickname “the closer” can be traced back in large part to his early wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In his first 26 points races at the track, Harvick led a combined 34 laps, yet he found a way to win two races in the 2011 and 2013 Coca-Cola 600s. He did get a dominant win there leading 162 laps in the 2014 Bank of America 500, but the legend of the closer was cemented here.
2. Martin Truex Jr.
By the Numbers: 31 Races; 3 wins; 7 top 5s; 13 top 10s; 14.1 avg. finish; 1,059 laps led
Breakdown: A three-time winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. has been tremendous at the track even before he got to Joe Gibbs Racing. He won two All Star Opens at the track and finished second in the 2010 All Star Race. However, once he got into good equipment, he began dominating with his best moment coming in the 2016 Coca-Cola 600.
In a race normally known for attrition and comers and goers, Truex Jr. led a track record 392 laps and a NASCAR record 588 miles on the way to a dominant win. Was it the most dominant performance in NASCAR history? That could be up for debate, but, in a day of incredible parity, this performance may never be repeated.
1. Jimmie Johnson
By the Numbers: 37 races; 8 wins; 16 top 5s; 22 top 10s; 12.9 avg. finish; 1,936 laps led
Breakdown: It has been three years since Johnson came to Charlotte Motor Speedway to race, but he truly is the best driver in the history of the track with a record eight wins. His “prime” at the track came between 2003 and 2006 where he won five straight points races and two all-star races with an absurd average finish of 3.2 in those races. Johnson led 334 laps en route to the Coca-Cola 600 win in 2004, but his most memorable moment at the track came in 2005 with his last lap pass of Bobby Labonte.