So NASCAR will race for the only time under the lights during the Chase, Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I love Saturday night races, so I am a big fan of this even. Plus as much as people complain about the "cookie cutter tracks," the high banked high speed tracks like Charlotte or Atlanta or Texas are my favorites.
"Obviously, a night race in the Chase is big for any race track," said Denny Hamlin. "But especially big being in the backyard of everyone’s house. I just look forward to it. We run well there so I’m excited to go."
There are a lot of big guns that run well at Charlotte, none the least of which is the man who stunk up the show last week in Kansas, five-time champ Jimmie Johnson.
"“I think we’re going to be a threat," said Johnson. "When I look back to Chicago, Kentucky, and Kansas obviously, our 1.5-mile stuff has been coming along pretty good over the last two or three months. So I feel good about it."
And he should, written off by many, but not this writer, Johnson has shot up to third in the points standings, behind leader Carl Edwards and second place Kevin Harvick. Harvick won the spring race.
"We’ve definitely run better at Charlotte over the last couple of years" Harvick said. "For us that’s a huge step. In the past, it’s been a place where you just want to come and survive and try to get a top-10. It seems like we’ve gotten better every time."
And even though they raced at night in the spring as well, drivers say this race is much different.
Said Edwards, "The 500-mile race is a little different than the 600, but starting out we’ll work with a similar set-up to what we had in May and go from there. The temperature will be a lot cooler than in May and it will be dark when we start so that is another big difference.”