- Associated Press - Saturday, May 26, 2012

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Six hours and 600 miles is a long time to spend in race car.

So what do NASCAR drivers do when the stomach starts grumbling in the middle of Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the Sprint Cup year?

For Martin Truex Jr., grabbing a granola bar or two normally does the trick.

“I’ll grab one under caution,” Truex said. “The hardest part is we do have a head sock in our helmets so it’s tricky to get it up under the head sock. You have to put your knee on the wheel to hold it straight. You use one hand to pull the helmet sock up, and then use your other hand to stick the granola bar up in there. It only takes a few seconds.”

Then Truex adds with a smile, “It’s multi-tasking.”

Truex normally keeps two granola bars in a pouch inside the door.

“There’s a cup holder too for the drink bottle,” he said. “We get those every once in a while during a pit stop.”

Denny Hamlin said simplicity is key.

He likes to have an energy bar that has already been torn open, something he can quickly stick in his mouth when he takes off his glove during a caution lap.

“You always look for the least messy option as possible, no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or anything,” Hamlin said.

Carl Edwards used to have a snack box in his car, but doesn’t eat during any races anymore.

“You have to be careful about eating something when you’re under that much stress and you’ve got the belts tight and everything,” Edwards said. “You have to be careful what you eat even if it seems really simple. So I just don’t eat during the race.”

This is Danica Patrick’s first Coca-Cola 600, so she’s not quite sure what to do. “Maybe I’ll just put extra drink mix in my bottle,” she said. “I managed OK in the 500 at Darlington so hopefully that last hundred miles will not be too big of a deal.”

JOHNSON’S OTHER CAR: Jimmie Johnson, one of the pre-race favorites for the Coca-Cola 600, will drive a different car Sunday than the one he won the Sprint All-Star race in last Saturday night.

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