Things to watch for in today's races:
- Danica Patrick will be driving the Boost Mobile entry in the 500. Patrick is open-wheel racing's most visible personality in the U.S. but, sooner-or-later, has to win the 500 to establish her place as a star racecar driver. She will be starting in the 10th position.
- Helio Castroneves is on the pole and back after surviving federal tax evasion charges. Has any personality in sports endured the rise-and-fall and now comeback of Castroneves--a winner of seven IndyCar races over three seasons, a winner on Dancing With the Stars, the tax evasion charge (including jail time) followed by his acquittal?
- John Andretti will drive the 43 car at the 500--Richard Petty's first-time entry in this classic race.
- Tony Stewart will attempt to win the Coke 600 at Charlotte after winning last week's All-Star Race, and $1 million payoff. Stewart's teammates, Ryan Newman, is on the pole.
- Jimmie Johnson, in the 48 Lowe's car, has owned races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Is this the week JJ makes his move up in the points race?
- Kasey Kahne, last year's winner, is sitting in 16th in points and is currently off the cut line for the Chase to the Cup. Kahne, however, is starting sixth this week. Is this the week he jumps a few slots up the points ladder?
Two races, two historic tracks, 1,100 miles--not a bad day for race junkies to plop in front of the widescreen.