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“It would be nice to feel like you’re at the top of the time sheet going into the race, but I think if you’re on top of the sheet in the heat you’re probably not going to be that good when the sun goes down.”

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TALE OF TWO RACES: Howard Comstock of SRT Motorsports said the Coca-Cola 600 is a tale of two races because the first 300 miles are in the heat, while the last 300 are in the cool of the night.

He believes that benefits teams with experienced crew chiefs.

“If you don’t have adjustability built into the cars, you’re going to suffer because it’ll be hot and slippery the first part of the race and then we see the race getting faster as it goes on, rather than slower,” Comstock said. “Even though the track gets rubbered up there’s nothing like Charlotte with that cool night air and losing sunlight off the racetrack.”

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MICHIGAN IS WAITING: The Sprint Cup series will be at the Michigan International Speedway on June 17 and early talk is the track is expected to be extremely quick after being repaved.

Jeff Gordon is among those who tested there.

“The track has a lot of grip and I’m anxious to see what happens when we get back there with multiple cars,” Gordon said. “And the temperatures are probably going to be a lot higher too. It’s going to be challenging to maintain the pace that we’re going to be able to run there. But I’ve always love Michigan and I was just happy to know that other than new pavement and a smooth race track, not a lot had changed, which I was happy to hear.”

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LUGNUTS: Country singer Tim McGraw introduced the field Sunday. … Actress and swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, a Charlotte native, served as the honorary race director. Prior to the race, she spent time in victory lane with Danica Patrick. They met while modeling swimsuits for Sports Illustrated.