NASCAR announces additional stage for Coca-Cola 600

Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

The longest race in NASCAR is gaining an additional stage.

NASCAR announced Monday that the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will include a fourth stage, offering an additional playoff point for the state’s winner and potential stage points for the rest of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field.

The 400-lap event will consist of four stages of 100 laps, with stage points awarded on Lap 100, Lap 200 and Lap 300, while standard race points are awarded at the end of Lap 400.

The race had previously been slated for stages ending on Lap 115 and 230.

“The stage racing format is delivering more dramatic moments over an entire race, fueling tremendous racing action this season,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said in a release. “With a fourth stage added to the Coca-Cola 600, the historic event will have another layer of strategy for teams, and even more excitement within the race for fans.”

“For 58 years, the Coca-Cola 600 has been a crown jewel on the NASCAR circuit because it presents unique challenges that don’t exist in any other race,” Marcus Smith, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., said. “The distance is great. The test of endurance is greater. The challenge of adjusting to the track surface from hot to cool puts more pressure on crew chiefs and pit crews.

“It’s only fitting that teams have an opportunity to be rewarded for the extra effort required to win at the 600. An additional stage win and that extra playoff point in May could be critical for playoff success in the fall.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is NASCAR’s feature event of Labor Day weekend, and the finale to what many call ‘the greatest day in racing.’ The day also includes Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix and the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Indianapolis 500.

No additional stages are anticipated for other races this season.

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