NASCAR At Charlotte: Greg Biffle Maintains Series Points Lead Over Matt Kenseth

Kasey Kahne continued his rebound from a nightmarish start to the 2012 season by scoring his first win for Hendrick Motorsports in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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9 Total Updates since May 26, 2012
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2012 NASCAR Standings: Kasey Kahne Closes In On Wild Card Spot

The battle for one of the two Wild Card spots in the Chase for the Cup got tighter Sunday night after Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600. Kahne now trails Ryan Newman by just seven points for the second Wild Card. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski is holding onto the first.

Leading the standings is still Greg Biffle. He now holds a 10-point lead over Matt Kenseth. The most significant move in the standings on Sunday was Denny Hamlin passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to move into third place.

Here's a look at the top-25:

  1. Greg Biffle +85 points inside top 10
  2. Matt Kenseth +75
  3. Denny Hamlin +69
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +67
  5. Jimmie Johnson +37
  6. Martin Truex Jr. +36
  7. Kevin Harvick +30
  8. Kyle Busch +23
  9. Tony Stewart +20
  10. Carl Edwards +4
  11. Brad Keselowski -4, holds No. 1 Wild Card spot (two wins)
  12. Clint Bowyer -6
  13. Ryan Newman -35, holds No. 2 Wild Card spot (one win)
  14. Paul Menard -35
  15. Kasey Kahne -42, trails Wild Card spot by seven points
  16. Joey Logano -58
  17. Jeff Burton -72
  18. Juan Pablo Montoya -76
  19. Aric Almirola -81
  20. Marcos Ambrose -85
  21. Jamie McMurray -86
  22. Jeff Gordon -93
  23. Regan Smith -107
  24. AJ Allmendinger -108
  25. Kurt Busch -117

For more on NASCAR head over to Ranting and Raving and be sure to check out SB Nation's NASCAR Racing Page.

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NASCAR At Charlotte Results: Kasey Kahne Gets First Hendrick Motorsports Victory, Third Coca-Cola 600 Win

Kasey Kahne's first few races with Hendrick Motorsports were nothing short of a nightmare. He has been on quite the rebound of late, and Kahne's maiden victory for Hendrick Motorsports and his 13th-career win came in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. It is his fourth victory at Charlotte including three in the 600 and the 201st for Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne becomes the 16th winner in the team's storied history.

Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Kyle Busch, a dominant Greg BIffle who led 204 laps, and Brad Keselowski. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-10. Only nine cars completed all 400 laps, with long green-flag stretches of racing and the torrid pace set by Biffle, Busch, and Kahne at different stretches of the race taking its toll on the field.

After not winning since last September at the Kansas Speedway, Hendrick claimed its milestone 200th victory two weeks ago at Darlington with Jimmie Johnson. Johnson then won last Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race, and now Kahne has given the team three wins (two official) in a row.

Kahne joins Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears as drivers who picked up their first Hendrick victory in the 600. In the case of both of those drivers, it was their first (and in Mears' case, only to date) win in NASCAR's top division.

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Coca-Cola 600 Update: Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch Lead At Halfway, Matt Kenseth Surging

Driving the same Ford Fusion he raced to victory at Texas Motor Speedway last month, Greg Biffle seems intent on a repeat performance. The Roush-Fenway Racing driver has been dominant throughout most of the first half of the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway as he seeks his first win at the historic 1.5-mile venue.

Kyle Busch, seeking his first Cup win at Charlotte despite several great performances there, runs second and has led 55 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The top-five is completed by Kasey Kahne, Sprint All-Star Race champion Jimmie Johnson, and Matt Kenseth.

Kenseth scored the first victory of his Sprint Cup career in this race in 2000, becoming the first and to-date only rookie to win NASCAR's longest race. He has gone onto a career that has seen him win two Daytona 500s and a championship in 2003. The sly Wisconsinite's resume would already almost assure him of eventual enshrinement in NASCAR's Hall of Fame, and will only get better as he continues to write it.

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NASCAR At Charlotte Update: Ford Dominating Clean Coca-Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 ran more than one-quarter in the books before the caution flag for the first time for debris on the race track.

A trio Ford drivers have dominated clean race thus far, leading all 114 laps. Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose swapped the lead early before point leader Greg Biffle asserted himself as the dominant force in the pre-dusk run of NASCAR's longest race.

Ambrose ran second ahead of Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne. Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-10.

Almirola had dropped steadily after starting from the pole position, backsliding to 17th before the caution flag flew. The Tampa native is seeking to give Richard Petty's famous No. 43 its first victory since John Andretti won at Martinsville in 1999. Almirola is also looking for his first true win in either of the top-two divisions in NASCAR. He officially won a Nationwide Series race at Milwaukee in 2007, but Denny Hamlin actually completed the event after the car's sponsor demanded that Hamlin - delayed by traffic and thus kept from starting the race as scheduled - be put into the car during a pit stop.

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NASCAR At Charlotte Update: Point Leader Greg Biffle Leads Coca-Cola 600 Early

It has been a revolving door at the top of the scoring pylon thus far in the Coca-Cola 600, as Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Ambrose again, and now Biffle have taken turns out front in the first 30 laps of the 400-lap marathon that is NASCAR's longest night.

Almirola started on the pole in Richard Petty's famous No. 43, but teammate Ambrose took the lead on the opening lap. The Tasmanian played the role of team player, letting Almirola past to lead a lap and pick up a Sprint Cup point. He retook the lead before being chased down by Biffle, who started fourth. The Sprint Cup point leader gave up the lead shortly therafter as he struggled with debris on his grill and high engine temperatures, but chased Ambrose back down to reclaim the top spot.

At 30 laps, Biffle and Ambrose run one-two, ahead of Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Mark Martin. Rounding out the top-10 are Kasey Kahne, Almirola, Jeff Gordon (who started 23rd), Denny Hamlin, and Regan Smith. Defending Coke 600 champ Kevin Harvick sits just outside the top-10 in 11th place.

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NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 Start Time, TV, Radio Schedule And More

NASCAR drivers prepare for a marathon of racing with 600 miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Race coverage begins at 5:30 on FOX with drivers expected to fire their engines at around 6:10 p.m. The green flag is expected to drop at approximately 6:19 p.m.

The race is 400 laps around the 1.5 mile track which equals out to 600 miles. Kevin Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr on the final lap to win the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. In October during the Chase, Matt Kenseth led Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards to the finish line.

Just last week Jimmie Johnson dominated in NASCAR's All Star race event and should be in great shape heading into tonight's race. Johnson will start third behind Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose.

Race Date/Time: Sunday, May 27, 5:30 p.m. ET

TV: FOX

Radio: NASCAR Affiliate Stations

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NASCAR Coca Cola 600: Aric Almirola On The Pole For Sunday Night's Race

Aric Almirola will start on the pole for Sunday's running of the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 from Charlotte. Almirola will be joined in the front row by Marcos Ambrose. Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle will start in the second row while Clint Bowyer rounds out the top five.

Other notables include Denny Hamlin in the eighth spot, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12th and Kevin Harvick 14th. Tony Stewart will start a little further back in the 21st position and is followed by Jeff Gordon who starts 23rd. Danica Patrick will start 40th in the 43 car field.

Starting lineup for tonight's Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

1. Aric Almirola
2. Marcos Ambrose
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Greg Biffle
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Mark Martin
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Paul Menard
10.Regan Smith
11.AJ Allmendinger
12.Dale Earnhardt Jr.
13.Trevor Bayne
14.Kevin Harvick
15.Martin Truex Jr.
16.Ryan Newman
17.Kyle Busch
18.Landon Cassill
19.Joey Logano
20.Matt Kenseth
21.Tony Stewart
22.Jeff Burton
23.Jeff Gordon
24.Brad Keselowski
25.Casey Mears
26.Bobby Labonte
27.Cole Whitt
28.Carl Edwards
29.Juan Pablo Montoya
30.David Ragan
31.Jamie McMurray
32.Michael McDowell
33.Josh Wise
34.Stephen Leicht
35.David Stremme
36.Dave Blaney
37.Travis Kvapil
38.Scott Speed
39.David Gilliland
40.Danica Patrick
41.TJ Bell
42.Kurt Busch
43.Joe Nemechek

For more on NASCAR head over to Ranting and Raving and be sure to check out SB Nation's NASCAR Racing Page.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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NASCAR At Charlotte: Coca-Cola 600 Paint Schemes

Not surprisingly, being that this is Memorial Day Weekend, the Coca-Cola 600 field will have quite a patriotic look as it does battle on the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sunday's race marks the kick-off event for the NASCAR Unites "Salute to America," a six-week program that runs from Charlotte through the July race at Daytona. Several cars are carrying full-on special paint schemes, while many others have red, white, and blue stars lining their regular paint scheme.

Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet will run this flag-themed race car for all six events of the Salute to America. Dale Earnhardt Jr's National Guard-sponsored Chevy has an added flair for this weekend. Jimmie Johnson is running the same red, white, and blue Chevrolet he raced to a win in last weekend's Sprint All-Star Race. Several other drivers, including Martin Truex Jr., Mark Martin, and Brad Keselowski have dedicated paint schemes for the 600.

Many of those who are running one of their sponsors' standard paint schemes have gotten into the patriotic act for the weekend. For example, here is Tony Stewart's No. 14 Office Depot Chevy with blue and white stars on the side skirts, spoiler, and rear sharkfin in addition to blue trim on the car number.

Jayski.com has a full paint scheme chart for every Sprint Cup race. Head on over there and scroll down to the Coca-Cola 600 chart and click the links on the right hand side to view all of the NASCAR Unites paint schemes that will blaze around the track Sunday evening.

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NASCAR At Charlotte: Stock Car Racing's Longest And Most Patriotic Night

NASCAR's longest night is also its most patriotic. The Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is an annual Memorial Day Weekend display of American Pride and love for our nation's military.

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