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Joey Logano explains why he loves how long NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 is

Not every NASCAR driver — or NASCAR fan, for that matter — is crazy about the length of the Coca-Cola 600, one of the sport’s distinguished “crown jewel” events, along with the Daytona 500, the Southern 500 and the Brickyard 400.

And to be fair, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 600 miles, which is about 100 miles longer, at a minimum, than the other big-time races. It’s also the longest event on NASCAR’s 36-race schedule, by far, and the only one broken into four stages instead of three.

And the length of the race and possibly adjusting it seems like an annual debate at this point.

When Denny Hamlin was asked in 2019 about keeping the race as long as it’s always been, he said, “Tradition, shmadition.” During last year’s five-hour saga, Martin Truex Jr. and his team couldn’t believe they had only hit the halfway point.

But Joey Logano explained Wednesday why he loves the length of the Coke 600 exactly the way it is. “I love that it’s different,” he said, adding:

“I love that the race is longer than normal, and it’s unique. It sets itself apart. That’s what makes the Coke 600 special, is because it’s different. Just like winning at COTA for the first time or winning the Bristol Dirt Race for the first time.

“Those races stand out because they’re unique. Well, the Coke 600 is unique in its own way being longer than every other race, so you really want to try to knock off that crown jewel event.”

Of course, Logano was also quick to note that he’s never won the Coca-Cola 600, and he described his relationship with Charlotte Motor Speedway as a “love-hate” situation.

The 2018 Cup Series champ has yet to win the Coke 600. In his 12 race starts, his average finish is about 12th, and the closest he came to winning it all was in 2019 when he finished second to Truex.

Overall on Charlotte’s oval — and not the roval — Logano has 22 starts with six top-5 finishes and one win, the 2015 Bank of America 500.

Logano continued Wednesday:

“I haven’t won [the Coca-Cola 600] yet! So I think I’d love it more if we were able to win. I’ve been able to run really well at Charlotte over the years. It’s been a really good race track for us, whether it’s been the roval or the All-Star Race, the BoA 500, whatever it is. Those have been some good ones.

“I just haven’t won the Coke 600 yet! Which is the one that stands out for me. Every time I look at a bucket list race, probably the Southern 500 and Coca-Cola 600 and Brickyard are the ones that stand out that I really want next.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. ET on FOX.

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