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Who Will Win?

Johnson
Johnson Jimmie Johnson: The king of Charlotte Motor Speedway when it bore his sponsor's name will make it three weeks in a row in victory lane with a win in the 600. Johnson's "drought" wasn't really much of one, and win No. 201 for Hendrick Motorsports will be by the same driver who got No. 200. And the wait for 201 will be much, much shorter.. – Nick Bromberg

Jimmie Johnson: Sometimes you get the opportunity to bet on the sun coming up or water being wet. Jimmie Johnson in Charlotte is one of those opportunities. Nobody's running better than Five-Time right now, and this is one of his finest tracks. Chad Knaus will have the 48 primed for the full run, and anybody who wants the win, here or in 2012, is going to have to go through Jimmie. – Jay Busbee

Jimmie Johnson: Apparently Jimmie Johnson is the favorite this weekend. Why? Because there was a time when he won every race at Charlotte Motor Speedway – four straight from 2004-2006. Then the track was repaved, neutralizing Johnson's edge. Until now. In Saturday night's All-Star race, Johnson looked to be in his 2000s form, which is why he's the unanimous pick here. – Jay Hart

Top storyline

How many engines will fail? There have been a rash of them this season, which is why I expect even more as they try to crank on all cylinders for 600 miles – the longest race of the season. Whoever goes out first will throw a scare into every one of his teammates. – Jay Hart

It's the longest race of the year, and here's betting there will be more than a few frayed tempers as the night goes on. You can only hammer at the bumpers and fenders of 42 other guys for so long before you want to break something. The easy money is on one of the Busch brothers to blow up first, but we're betting it'll be someone we don't expect losing their mind. Kasey Kahne? Clint Bowyer? Joey Logano? You never know, but someone's going to lose their mind Saturday, count on it. – Jay Busbee

How many of you are going to plant yourselves on the couch for Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600? This is the single-best day in auto racing every year, though after watching Saturday night's All-Star race, one has to wonder how much sandbagging will be done Sunday night. Six hundred miles is a long time, especially given the transitions CMS will go through. Will drivers be content to click off the first 325 laps before going for the win in the darkness? – Nick Bromberg

From The Source

Denny Hamlin, on racing for 600 miles: "The last 100 miles physically you’re splitting hairs – the difference between 400 to 500 and then 500 to 600. For us, it's more patience than anything. I don't think it's a whole lot more physically demanding. Of course attrition is always a part of it, whether it be engine or car or driver or things like that. I don't think there's any more difficulty, it's just tough to keep your focus and keep you patience for a 600-mile race."