Martin Truex Jr. climbs into his car before practice on May 23 (Chuck Burton)
Martin Truex Jr. climbs into his car before practice on May 23 (Chuck Burton)|Associated Press

NASCAR Sunday: Eckel on Coca Cola 600, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin

Mark Eckel

One of the bigger NASCAR events of the season takes place Sunday night (6 p.m.) in Charlotte, N.C., with the Coca Cola 600.

It’s not often that all three of us NASCAR experts -- myself, Scott “Tobacco Road” Baker and Mike “Left Turn” Sweeny -- agree on the winner of the race. We do this week.

All three of us see Kyle Busch as Sunday’s winner, although we all have a different opinion on a second choice in the race.

Martin Truex Jr., Busch’s teammate on the Joe Gibbs team, talked about being with the 2019 points leader.

“He’s just so good at driving the cars and giving the information about what he needs to go faster and just explaining things about his race car,” Truex told “It’s fun to just chat with him and bounce things back and forth. Hear what he’s dealing with and how he deals with it.

“You know, you see those things against competitors throughout the years,” he added. “You see how they do things and you always wonder what they think about it. What are their thoughts? How are they actually going about doing these things? So, it’s been fun kind of getting a closer glimpse of that.”

Here’s a closer look at the selections from the “experts”:

Kyle Busch (3-1): Busch won last year and repeating in Charlotte has been done quite a few times since the race debuted in 1960. Busch will start out of the third spot. And was a unanimous choice.

Martin Truex (6-1): Truex won here in 2016 and has driven well here throughout his career. At a decent price he’s worth a look and is my second choice.

Kevin Harvick (9-2): “Tobacco Road” picked Harvick as his second choice and admitted he’s not exactly going out on a limb. He just thinks the chalk holds this week. He also said he thinks Clint Bowyer “has a fighting chance”. But we think he was trying to be funny there.

Denny Hamlin (20-1): “Left Turn” likes the long shot Hamlin, who has never won here before. LT likes Hamlin’s car this week and at that price he’s certainly worth a long look.

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