|Race 12 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series|
|Date||May 27, 2007|
|Official name||Coca-Cola 600|
|Location||Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.5 mi (2.414 km)
|Distance||400 laps, 600 mi (965.606 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures of 87.1 °F (30.6 °C); wind speeds of 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)|
|Average speed||130.222 miles per hour (209.572 km/h)|
|Driver||Penske Racing South|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing South|
|No. 25||Casey Mears||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||Fox Broadcasting Company|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds|
|Radio in the United States|
|Radio||Performance Racing Network|
|Booth Announcers||Doug Rice, Mark Garrow|
|Turn Announcers||Pat Patterson, Brent McMillian, Chuck Carland|
The 2007 Coca-Cola 600 was the 12th stock car race of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and the 48th iteration of the event. It was held on May 27, 2007, before a crowd of 175,000 in Concord, North Carolina at Lowe's Motor Speedway, an intermediate track that holds NASCAR races. The 400-lap race was won by Casey Mears of the Hendrick Motorsports team, who started from 16th position. J. J. Yeley finished second and Kyle Petty came in third.
Ryan Newman won the pole position and led the first ten laps before his Penske Racing South teammate Kurt Busch moved into the lead on lap 11. Busch held the lead for 107 laps (longer than any other driver in the race) until Brian Vickers moved into the lead after the first round of green-flag pit stops. Jimmie Johnson gained the lead from Vickers on lap 185 and held it for 83 laps, battling with Vickers and Matt Kenseth for the position. At the race's final restart on lap 342, Tony Stewart led and maintained his position until he made a pit stop for fuel 51 laps later. Mears became the leader after Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Denny Hamlin made similar pit stops; Mears held the lead after slowing to conserve fuel to win the race. There were thirteen cautions and 29 lead changes among fifteen drivers during the race.
As of 2019[update], the 2007 race is Mears' only win in the Nextel Cup Series, now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. After the race, Jeff Gordon's lead in the Drivers' Championship was reduced because he crashed in the early part of the race. Chevrolet increased its points advantage in the Manufacturers' Championship, placing it 41 points ahead of Ford. Dodge moved further ahead of Toyota in the battle for third place, with 24 races left in the season.
The Coca-Cola 600 was the twelfth scheduled stock car race of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, out of 36, and the 48th iteration of the event. It was held on May 27, 2007 in Concord, North Carolina at Lowe's Motor Speedway, now called Charlotte Motor Speedway, an intermediate track that holds NASCAR races. The standard track at Lowe's Motor Speedway is a four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.4 km)-long, quad-oval track. The track's turns are banked at 24 degrees; both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch (opposite the front) have a five-degree banking.
Before the race, Jeff Gordon led the Drivers' Championship with 1,881 points, with teammate Jimmie Johnson in second and Matt Kenseth third. Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton were fourth and fifth, and Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top twelve. Chevrolet led the Manufacturers' Championship with 96 points, 35 points ahead of its rival Ford in second. Dodge with 52 points was 19 points ahead of Toyota in the battle for third place. Kasey Kahne was the race's defending champion.
The Coca-Cola 600 was conceived by race car driver Curtis Turner, who built the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was first held in 1960 in an attempt by NASCAR to stage a Memorial Day weekend race to compete with the open-wheel Indianapolis 500; the two races were held together on the same day starting from 1974. The race is the longest in terms of distance on the NASCAR calendar, and is considered by several drivers to be one of the sport's most important races alongside the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Southern 500. The long distance makes it the most physically demanding event in NASCAR, and teams adapt to changing track conditions because the race occurs between late afternoon and evening.It was known as the World 600 until 1984 when The Coca-Cola Company purchased the naming rights to the race and renamed it the Coca-Cola World 600 in 1985. It has been called the Coca-Cola 600 every year since 1986 except for 2002 when the name changed to Coca-Cola Racing Family 600.
In preparation for the race, NASCAR held several test sessions on May 7–8, 2007, to allow teams to prepare for the May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Sessions began at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 7 and concluded at 9:00 p.m. On May 8, sessions started at 1:00 p.m. and stopped at 9:00 p.m. Eighty-two cars participated in the May 7 afternoon session; Martin Truex, Jr. was quickest with a speed of 180.596 miles per hour (290.641 km/h) and David Stremme had the highest speed of the two days at 187.000 miles per hour (300.947 km/h) in the evening session. Towards the end of the second session, Hamlin lost control of his car and made heavy contact with an outside SAFER barrier; he was evaluated at the infield care center and was later released to continue testing. During the third session with eighty-four cars, Jeremy Mayfield had the fastest speed of 183.667 miles per hour (295.583 km/h) and Kurt Busch set the fastest speed of 185.644 miles per hour (298.765 km/h) in the fourth and final session held in the evening. David Gilliland spun but avoided contact with a wall.
There was one change of driver before the race. Starting at the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bill Elliott returned to NASCAR on a part-time schedule for Wood Brothers Racing, replacing the team's regular driver Ken Schrader, who drove in the season's first eleven races. Elliott was eligible to use six Champion's Provisionals if the need arose. Elliott was looking forward to returning to racing: "I was pretty honored to get a call from the Wood Brothers to drive the 21 car. I've seen them struggle the last few weeks, being outside the top 35, and it breaks my heart to see them miss races. I hope I can get in the car, get us qualified well every week and see what we can make up in the points battle along the way."
Practice and qualification
Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race; one on Thursday and two on Saturday. The first session lasted 90 minutes, the second 50 minutes and the third 60 minutes. In the first practice session, Elliott Sadler was fastest with a time of 29.697 seconds; Kahne, Ricky Rudd, Johnson, Casey Mears, Kenseth, Joe Nemechek, Kyle Busch, Scott Riggs and Jamie McMurray completed the session's top-ten drivers. Sterling Marlin hit one of the walls lining the track and switched to a back-up car. Michael Waltrip did not need to switch cars after a similar collision.
Forty-nine cars entered qualifying on Friday evening; due to NASCAR's qualifying procedure forty-three were allowed to race. Each driver ran two laps, with the starting order determined by the competitor's fastest times. Drivers who set their laps late in qualifying had an advantage because the track was at its coolest. Ryan Newman clinched the 39th pole position of his career, with a time of 29.140 seconds. He was joined on the grid's front row by his Penske Racing South teammate Kurt Busch, and was the second-to-last driver to record his lap. Sadler qualified third, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fourth, and Kenseth fifth. Hamlin, Rudd, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte and Stremme rounded out the top ten qualifiers. Jeff Green crashed in the second turn while on a lap and used a provisional to qualify. The six drivers who failed to qualify were Kevin Lepage, David Reutimann (who crashed on his lap) Waltrip (who lost control of his car in the second turn on his second qualifying lap, tearing off a front tire after hitting an inside wall and made contact with it a second time before stopping), Mike Bliss, Paul Menard and Ward Burton. After the qualifier, Newman said he felt pressure to achieve Penske's Racing South's first victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway: "He's only been trying here for like 20 years, so yeah it would be special. It's been something that weighs on the drivers and the teams". He also said he felt he could have recorded a faster lap time and was worried about teammate Kurt Busch's qualifying form.
On Saturday afternoon in sunny and warm weather conditions, Newman was fastest in the second practice session with a time of 30.562 seconds, ahead of Sadler, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Earnhardt, Edwards, Rudd, McMurray and Kahne. During the session, teams were scuffing their tires; in the first minute, Bowyer crashed after he spun in turn two and switched to a back-up car in which he set five more lap times. Shortly afterward, Nemechek spun after exiting the second turn but avoided damaging his car. Later that day, Edwards led the final practice session with a time of 30.043 seconds; Biffle, Newman, Sadler, J. J. Yeley, Truex. Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kenseth, and Jeff Burton were in positions two through ten. Kyle Busch damaged his right-rear quarter after hitting a right-hand wall, but did not switch to a back-up car.
|1||12||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing South||Dodge||29.140||185.312|
|2||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing South||Dodge||29.179||185.065|
|3||19||Elliott Sadler||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||29.189||185.001|
|4||8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||29.247||184.634|
|5||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||29.311||184.231|
|6||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||29.312||184.225|
|7||88||Ricky Rudd||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||29.355||183.955|
|8||22||Dave Blaney||Bill Davis Racing||Toyota||29.370||183.861|
|9||43||Bobby Labonte||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||29.422||183.536|
|10||40||David Stremme||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||29.423||183.530|
|11||01||Mark Martin||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||29.437||183.443|
|12||18||J. J. Yeley||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||29.458||183.312|
|13||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||29.469||183.2431|
|14||20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||28.493||183.094|
|15||10||Scott Riggs||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||29.506||183.014|
|16||25||Casey Mears||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.526||182.890|
|17||5||Kyle Busch||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.557||182.698|
|18||9||Kasey Kahne||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||29.557||182.698|
|19||38||David Gilliland||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||29.575||182.587|
|20||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||29.579||182.562|
|21||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.585||182.525|
|22||21||Bill Elliott||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||29.601||182.426|
|23||44||Dale Jarrett||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||29.607||182.389|
|24||36||Jeremy Mayfield||Bill Davis Racing||Toyota||29.621||182.303|
|25||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||29.624||182.285|
|26||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||29.626||182.272|
|27||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||29.627||182.2661|
|28||26||Jamie McMurray||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||29.630||182.248|
|29||84||A. J. Allmendinger||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||29.630||182.248|
|30||14||Sterling Marlin||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||29.631||182.242|
|31||1||Martin Truex, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||29.637||182.205|
|32||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.674||181.977|
|33||13||Joe Nemechek||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||29.683||181.922|
|34||41||Reed Sorenson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||29.701||181.812|
|35||7||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Ford||29.781||181.324|
|36||45||Kyle Petty||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||29.828||181.038|
|37||96||Tony Raines||Hall of Fame Racing||Chevrolet||29.865||180.814|
|38||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||29.897||180.620|
|39||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||29.926||180.445|
|40||70||Johnny Sauter||Haas CNC Racing||Chevrolet||30.067||179.599|
|41||07||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||30.776||175.4611|
|42||66||Jeff Green||Haas CNC Racing||Chevrolet||–||–|
|43||78||Kenny Wallace||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||29.633||182.229|
|44||15||Paul Menard||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||29.646||182.149|
|45||55||Michael Waltrip||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||29.795||181.238|
|46||4||Ward Burton||Morgan-McClure Motorsports||Chevrolet||29.821||181.080|
|47||37||Kevin Lepage||Front Row Motorsports||Dodge||29.916||180.505|
|48||49||Mike Bliss||BAM Racing||Dodge||30.490||177.107|
|49||00||David Reutimann||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||–||–|
1 Moved to the back of the grid for changing engines (#6, #29) and for going to a backup car (#07)
Live television coverage of the race began at 5:00 p.m. EDT in the United States on Fox. Around the start of the race, weather conditions were partly cloudy with an air temperature between 70 and 87 °F (21 and 31 °C) and a track temperature which ranged between 85 and 130 °F (29 and 54 °C). William K. Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, began pre-race ceremonies with an invocation. Country and pop music singer LeAnn Rimes performed the national anthem, and sponsored contest award winners commanded the drivers to start their engines. During the pace laps, three drivers moved to the rear of the field because of unapproved changes; Boywer had switched to his back-up car, and David Ragan and Harvick had changed their engines.
The race began at 5:52 p.m. Newman maintained his pole-position advantage heading into the first corner. After starting 21st, Jimmie Johnson moved to 15th position by lap eight. Kurt Busch passed teammate Newman for the lead three laps later. By the 20th lap, Kurt Busch, Newman, Earnhardt, Kenseth and Yeley were running in the top five positions. Earnhardt got ahead of Newman for second place four laps later. Hamlin moved to third position by lap 32. Hamlin made up a further position on lap 43 after he passed Earnhardt for second and was 1.2 seconds behind race leader Kurt Busch. The first caution of the race was shown four laps later when Biffle hit the turn two wall after his right-front tire had been cut and dropped debris on the track. Biffle's car sustained heavy damage to the right-hand side, ending his race. All drivers elected to make pit stops for tires and fuel during the caution.
Kurt Busch, who made a 10.4-second pit stop for fuel and no tires, maintained the lead on the lap-52 restart ahead of Hamlin, Kenseth, Earnhardt and Johnson. One lap later, a multi-car collision occurred on the front stretch when A. J. Allmendinger lost control of his car in turn two and collided with the right-rear quarter panel of Johnson's car, which had a cut left-rear tire that burst after leaving turn four. Johnson's burst tire caused Blaney and Stewart to collide after Stewart slowed to avoid a collision with Johnson. Both drivers slid, collecting Gilliland, Sadler, Juan Pablo Montoya, Green, Bowyer, Truex, Marlin, Johnny Sauter, Kyle Petty and Harvick, all of whom had damage to their cars. The incident triggered the race's second caution. Johnson and Stewart made pit stops to repair the damage to their cars; both rejoined the race in eighteenth and twenty-fifth positions.
Kurt Busch led on the lap-62 restart, ahead of Hamlin, Kenseth, Earnhardt, and Gordon. The third caution was prompted on the same lap when Tony Raines lost control of his car and slid sideways into Jeff Gordon, and both drivers were sent into the infield grass. Jeff Gordon went back up towards a right-hand wall and was hit by Allmendinger at the start-finish line, resulting in the former going airborne; Robby Gordon and Burton were also involved in the accident. Gordon was unhurt; drivers involved in the accidents, that caused the second and third cautions, made pit stops for repairs. Kurt Busch maintained his lead at the lap-70 restart, followed by Hamlin and Kenseth. Eight laps later, Burton caused the fourth caution after heavy contact with the turn three wall. During the caution, most of the leaders made pit stops; Newman stopped for a track bar adjustment and had a new shifter ball installed. Kurt Busch and Kenseth chose not to pit and remained the leaders at the lap-83 restart, with Rudd in third place. Ten laps later, Newman, who was in eighth position, reported his car was "extremely tight" after the adjustments made at his pit stop. Stewart had moved back to eleventh and Johnson was thirteenth by lap 96. Kurt Busch's lead was four seconds over Kenseth after 100 laps, with Brian Vickers following in third, Ragan fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth. Johnson passed Yeley for seventh position eleven laps later.
Green-flag pit stops began on lap 112, with Kenseth pitting on the same lap for tires and a wedge change. Kurt Busch made his stop two laps later, handing the lead to Vickers for twelve laps. Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 126 with an advantage of ten seconds over Johnson by lap 131. Kyle Busch made his pit stop on the next lap, handing the lead to Johnson for one lap. Stewart took the lead until his stop on lap 133, when Yeley became the race leader. Edwards and Elliott both held the lead in the next two laps. After the pit stops, Vickers regained the lead. On lap 140, Vickers' six-second lead was reduced to nothing when the fifth caution was triggered after debris was spotted on the backstretch. Most of the leaders elected to make pit stops. Mears was observed speeding, and was required by NASCAR to drop to the rear of the longest line.
Racing resumed on lap 146 with Vickers leading Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Yeley and Stewart as daylight began to fade. Mears was afflicted with an alternator issue on lap 149, and switched to a back-up battery. A flat tire slowed Earnhardt on lap 154; he pitted for new tires two laps later. Ragan moved back into the top five by lap 160. Ten laps later, debris was spotted in the turn two groove, causing the sixth caution, during which all the leaders made pit stops. Vickers led on the lap-173 restart, followed by Kurt Busch and Martin. Kurt Busch drove left to pass Vickers for the lead on lap 175; three laps later, Newman drove to his garage to retire with an engine failure. Mears' team installed a new battery into his car, and switched between his main and back-up battery to ensure engine power was maintained. Vickers retook the lead from Kurt Busch on the 181st lap, and Stewart got ahead of Kyle Busch one lap later. Johnson took the lead from Vickers on lap 185.
On lap 186, Kurt Busch nudged the turn two wall with his right-rear side and spun on the backstretch, triggering the seventh caution. He regained control of his car to run in ninth place. Most of the leaders made pit stops. Johnson led at the lap-190 restart, followed by Vickers and Kenseth. Johnson held a one-second lead over Vickers by the 200th lap, by which time Edwards moved past Stewart. Vickers retook the lead from Johnson on lap 206. Fifteen laps later, the eighth caution was triggered when Edwards's car suffered a cut right-rear tire, slowed on the track and spun at turn four while driving cautiously to the pit road. Edwards collected his teammate, Ragan, who was run into by Elliott. Mears was close by the incident but avoided damaging his car. On lap 222, Vickers reported a power steering problem, and Kyle Busch was losing battery power. Most of the leaders, including Vickers, made pit stops. Kyle Busch's car had a replacement battery fitted and Vickers topped up with more fluids; both drivers rejoined in twelfth and thirteenth positions. Johnson led at the lap-227 restart, with Kenseth in second place. One lap later, Kenseth passed Johnson to take over first place, while Kyle Busch made heavy contact with the wall on his right side; a caution was not needed. Johnson reclaimed the first position from Kenseth on the backstretch on the 245th lap. Kyle Busch's right-front tire was cut, and went into the turn four wall on lap 252, triggering the ninth caution. During the caution, most of the leaders, including Johnson, chose to make pit stops. Johnson made changes to his car's left and right rear spring rubber, and Stewart's car's air pressure was adjusted.
Kyle Busch drove to his garage with a broken brake motor on the 254th lap and Mayfield led the field back up to speed for the restart on the 256th lap, ahead of Kenseth, Vickers, Stewart and Johnson. Mayfield dropped to third place as Kenseth and Vickers moved into first and second places on lap 257. Kenseth held a 2.2-second lead over Stewart, who moved to second and was closing on Kenseth by lap 265. The race's tenth caution was triggered two laps later when Kahne lost control of his car and hit the turn two right-hand side wall. Most of the leaders, including Kenseth, elected to make pit stops. Johnson led the field on the lap-272 restart, followed by Kenseth and Stewart. Kenseth passed Johnson to reclaim the first position four laps later. Vickers and Rudd made contact while leaving the fourth turn on lap 281 but no caution was needed. Johnson retook the lead from Kenseth two laps later. Mayfield spun 360 degrees on the front stretch and went into the infield grass after trying to avoid a slower car on his right on lap 291, causing the eleventh caution. The leaders, including Johnson, made pit stops for tires under caution. Rudd took over the lead for one lap before pitting on lap 293. Johnson regained the lead after the pit stops, maintaining it at the lap-297 restart; he was followed by Kenseth and Earnhardt. Kyle Busch rejoined the race on the same lap. Kurt Busch lost control of his car on the backstretch on lap 298; his car spun off and hit a left-hand wall, causing the twelfth caution. He drove to his garage to retire.
Johnson led the field back up to speed at the lap-301 restart. Kenseth retook the lead from Johnson on the 311th lap, and Johnson reclaimed the position one lap later. Stewart got ahead of Kenseth for second place on lap 314; he was six-tenths of a second behind race leader Johnson. After receiving a free pass from the tenth caution, Petty was running in ninth place by lap 316; he battled Reed Sorenson for eighth place. Fourteen laps later, Mears moved into third position. The thirteenth (and final) caution of the race was triggered on lap 337 when Vickers hit the turn two wall, damaging his car's right-hand side, sustaining a cut right-front tire and dropped debris onto the track. The leaders, including Johnson, made pit stops; Johnson's pit crew dropped a left-rear lug nut, costing him time while his mechanics searched for it, falling to tenth position. Stewart led the field on the lap-342 restart, ahead of Mears and Earnhardt. Johnson moved to fourth place by lap 367; three laps later, Stewart had a 1.1-second lead over Mears and extended it to 2.7 seconds by the 380th lap.
The second round of green-flag pit stops for fuel began on lap 381, as Earnhardt got past Mears for second place on the following lap. Mears lost third place to his teammate Johnson on lap 390. Johnson made his pit stop on the next lap and avoided a collision with Mears. Stewart drove slowly down the pit road on the 393rd lap because he was two laps short of fuel, allowing Earnhardt to move into first place before his own stop one lap later. Hamlin took over the lead before his pit stop on lap 395, allowing Mears to take over the first position. By lap 398, Mears held a ten-second lead over Yeley, who was closing the gap, and felt his car was tight when he drove right, but held a strong line at the track's bottom when he moved out of traffic. Mears conserved fuel after slowing his pace following persuasion by his crew chief Darian Grubb; he maintained his lead for the remaining two laps to win his first race in the Nextel Cup Series. He ran out of fuel on his cool-down lap; his engine cut out shortly after crossing the start-finish line. Yeley finished second, ahead of Petty in third, who secured his first top-five finish since the 1997 MBNA 400. Sorenson was fourth and Vickers came in fifth. Stewart, Rudd, Earnhardt, Hamlin and Johnson completed the top-ten finishers. The race had thirteen cautions and 29 lead changes among 15 drivers. Kurt Busch's total of 107 laps led was the highest of any competitor. Mears led for one period in the race, for a total of six laps.
Mears appeared in Victory Lane to celebrate his first win in the Nextel Cup Series in front of the crowd; the win earned him US$377,425 and is his only career win as of 2019. Mears was delighted with his victory, saying in the post-race press conference, "This is unbelievable. I'm very, very excited about it and, at the same time, very relieved. I was afraid Darien [Grubb] was going to call me in. I'm glad he didn't. The only way we could win was to gamble and that's what we did." Mears said he had "a fourth place car at best". It was the first time since 1991 a person with the surname Mears had won in auto racing. Yeley, who finished second, said, "This is probably the first time in two years of Cup racing I didn't catch the bad break. I've always run into bad luck.", and, "At the end, we were a top-five car at best". Third-place finisher Petty said, "In all honesty, it's just a race. We didn't change the world tonight. It feels good to come back and race with these guys. I guess third place was just the cherry on the sundae." He also said he had a car that was capable of finishing in the top ten and that he would not have been able to run with the top drivers. Petty also praised Mears for his victory and said he felt Mears would have similar success in the future. Hamlin said he felt the top-five finishers were lucky to achieve their finishing positions and that his crew chief Mike Ford said there was "no glory in winning a fuel-mileage race, other than saying you didn't run hard and were saving fuel".
Kurt Busch, who led 107 laps (more than any other driver) was frustrated after his lap-298 crash: "How in the world we can be so strong during the day here and almost in an instant go completely in the opposite direction is beyond my comprehension. We have to get a handle on it sooner or later. I'm frustrated and down right now, but we'll just keep plugging along looking for the answer." Newman, who led the first ten laps of the race, was happy despite retiring from the race: "We had a good car. We had just gotten the lucky dog and we were going to be one of the 15 cars on the lead lap. Everybody at Penske Racing has been doing a great job. We've just got to keep it up and stay focused." After finishing the race in fifth place (then the best finish for a Toyota car) Vickers said it was "rough" driving without the use of power steering that cut in and out but he felt Red Bull Racing Team had "the best car" for the race. Stewart's crew chief Greg Zipadelli was disappointed his driver could not take the victory: "If we hadn't had an opportunity to win, I'd say that finishing sixth and leading laps would be awesome, But sitting where we are right now, it seems that everything is stacked against us. We were probably a second- or third-place car at worst, so it's disappointing." Eighth-place finisher Earnhardt said he thought he secured a second-place finish and was unaware the leaders had made pit stops. Nevertheless, he said was happy with the way his team ran the race.
After retiring from the race on lap 221, Elliott blamed himself for the collision with Ragan, saying he waited too long to react and was heavily committed to driving down the racetrack. He was also unable to remove his foot from his brake pedal. Ragan said he felt he should have passed Roush Fenway Racing teammate Edwards, who spun up the racetrack. Edwards also said he was trying to avoid wrecking himself. According to Montoya, who was involved in the multi-car collision on the 53rd lap: "I saw a car flying, and as soon as I saw the car flying I checked up. We actually slowed down the car and everything. The ten car or somebody came right in behind us and just pushed us through the whole mess." Jeff Gordon said he was "fine" after the accident and that it "looked a lot worse than it really was ... Unfortunate because, man, what an awesome race car we had. I was so proud of Steve Letarte and the guys. When we bring race cars like that to the track, it just makes me have a whole lot of fun. I was having a blast out there and I hate we are out of it. But I am ok." Allmendinger claimed responsibility for causing the crash and asked his spotter to apologize to Johnson's spotter, who relayed the message to Johnson via radio.
The result maintained Jeff Gordon's lead in the Drivers' Championship with 1,921 points, ahead of teammate Johnson with 1,789. Kenseth remained in third with his points advantage over Hamlin reduced to thirty-two. Burton remained in fifth place and Stewart kept sixth. Harvick moved to seventh while Edwards gained two positions to eighth. Kurt Busch's non-finish dropped him to ninth and Bowyer was tenth. Kyle Busch and McMurray rounded out the top twelve. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet with 105 points extended its lead to forty-two points over its main rival Ford. Dodge increased its points advantage over Toyota in the battle for third place. The race took four hours, thirty-six minutes and twenty-seven seconds to complete, and the margin of victory was 9.561 seconds.
|1||16||25||Casey Mears||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||400||1901|
|2||12||18||J. J. Yeley||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||400||1751|
|3||36||45||Kyle Petty||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||400||165|
|4||34||41||Reed Sorenson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||400||160|
|5||26||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||400||1601|
|6||14||20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||400||1551|
|7||7||88||Ricky Rudd||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||400||1511|
|8||4||8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||400||1471|
|9||6||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||400||1431|
|10||21||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||400||1391|
|11||11||01||Mark Martin||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||400||130|
|12||5||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||400||1321|
|13||9||43||Bobby Labonte||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||399||124|
|14||37||96||Tony Raines||Hall of Fame Racing||Chevrolet||399||121|
|15||39||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||399||1231|
|16||31||1||Martin Truex, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||399||115|
|17||10||40||David Stremme||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||397||112|
|18||8||22||Dave Blaney||Bill Davis Racing||Toyota||397||109|
|19||28||26||Jamie McMurray||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||395||106|
|20||15||10||Scott Riggs||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||394||103|
|21||27||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||394||100|
|22||35||7||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Ford||393||97|
|23||18||9||Kasey Kahne||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||390||94|
|24||25||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||385||91|
|25||24||36||Jeremy Mayfield||Bill Davis Racing||Toyota||382||931|
|26||33||13||Joe Nemechek||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||377||85|
|27||40||70||Johnny Sauter||Haas CNC Racing||Chevrolet||376||82|
|28||20||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||369||79|
|29||41||07||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||76|
|30||17||5||Kyle Busch||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||357||781|
|31||29||84||A. J. Allmendinger||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||310||70|
|32||2||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing South||Dodge||296||772|
|33||30||14||Sterling Marlin||Ginn Racing||Chevrolet||293||64|
|34||43||78||Kenny Wallace||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||289||61|
|35||19||38||David Gilliland||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||265||58|
|36||3||19||Elliott Sadler||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||261||55|
|37||13||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||219||52|
|38||22||21||Bill Elliott||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||218||541|
|39||1||12||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing South||Dodge||172||511|
|40||23||44||Dale Jarrett||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||82||43|
|41||32||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||61||40|
|42||42||66||Jeff Green||Haas CNC Racing||Chevrolet||52||37|
|43||38||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||45||34|
1 Includes five bonus points for leading a lap
2 Includes ten bonus points for leading the most laps
Standings after the race
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Media related to 2007 Coca-Cola 600 at Wikimedia Commons
2007 Dodge Avenger 500
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2007 Autism Speaks 400