NASCAR

5 Drivers to Watch in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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5 Drivers to Watch in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

This weekend, the drivers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take their talents to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest NASCAR sanctioned race of the year at 600 of racing action.

This race is typically dominated by a group of veteran drivers who have won multiple races here. This list includes Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne, who all have three trips to victory lane in this marathon race of the year.

This race comes at a key time in the season where those who will be off to the Chase start to separate from the rest of the pack. So far, the championship battle looks like a mano-y-mano duel between five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and 2003 champion Matt Kenseth.

Johnson has the points lead by a mile, but Kenseth has three wins to Johnson's two in the season so far. Both could be in contention in the race this weekend.

While these two are sitting atop the pile looking toward the Cup, there are some still on the outside looking in on the race for the Chase. There are many drivers outside of the top 12 in points that are looking for wins to boost their chances for the wild card spots. The two drivers most likely to seize those spots are Denny Hamlin, who recently returned from his injury and Kurt Busch, who has had a fantastic season so far with Furniture Row Racing. These and the rest of the drivers on this list are definitely worth watching this weekend.

Jake Thompson is a NASCAR Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JakeThompsonCU.

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Denny Hamlin

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

This desperate Joe Gibbs Racing driver has won the pole for this race and will be hoping for a win to bolster his wild card chances.

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Kurt Busch

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

The older Busch brother has qualified very well again this week and if he can keep his car in better order than at Darlington, he can be in contention for the win.

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Joey Logano

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

This new Penske Racing driver has a great average finish at this track and will look to continue that on Sunday even though he starts far in the back.

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Kasey Kahne

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

Kahne is a three-time winner here and could use another win this year to give him a kick start in the points standings.

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Matt Kenseth

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Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

The 2003 Sprint Cup Champion has been off to a serious run this year and will be hoping to keep it up this weekend. To beat Jimmie Johnson in November, he will need a wins advantage.