Charlotte 600 anticipation building

Concord, NC-- As anticipation builds for the drop of the green flag on NASCAR's longest race of the season, defending race winner Jeff Burton, who will start the race eighth, is going to have a tough time holding off this year's younger ...

Concord, NC-- As anticipation builds for the drop of the green flag on NASCAR's longest race of the season, defending race winner Jeff Burton, who will start the race eighth, is going to have a tough time holding off this year's younger competition.

Hendrick Motorsports rookie 26 year-old Jimmie Johnson will bring the field to the green after grabbing his third pole of the season on Thursday night with a speed of 186.494 mph. Also a threat, Johnson's Raybestos Rookie rival Ryan Newman. Newman, the 24 year-old driver of the No. 12 Ford, won the pole for the 600 last year and just last weekend, won both the No Bull Sprint and Winston events. Newman will roll of the grid fourth.

A surprise to watch out for, Dave Blaney in the No. 77 Ford. Blaney will roll off of the grid 14th and ran strong throughout practice sessions during the week. Starting behind Blaney will be the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports entry driven by Champion Jeff Gordon. Gordon, who has won the Coke 600 three previous times, is still looking for his first win of the season. His last win came on another 1.5 mile track, Kansas, last fall.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Dave Blaney
Teams Hendrick Motorsports