Christopher Bell wins rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte

Christopher Bell won a rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night after rain and lightning stopped the race after 249 of 400 scheduled laps.

Bell, the 29-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver, was dominant. He led the most laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s annual spring race, jumping out over Charlotteans Ty Gibbs and William Byron — who started on the front row and ran toward the front throughout the race.

This year’s iteration of the Coke 600, which featured a visit from former President Donald Trump, stopped after lightning struck and rain poured just before 9:30 p.m. NASCAR officially called the race after a delay that lasted roughly two hours.

Rain also delayed Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day, preventing Kyle Larson from completing the Double. He flew to Concord immediately after finishing 18th in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Larson landed in Concord at 9:27 p.m. — as rain began to come down and the Coke 600 was stopped. He was waiting on the NASCAR race to resume so he could jump into the No. 5 car.

Brad Keselowski finished second, Byron came in third, Tyler Reddick fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.

Leaders resume the race after a caution during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Leaders resume the race after a caution during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

Live updates: NASCAR race at Charlotte

Stage 3

11:30 p.m.: The race is official and will not be resumed. Christopher Bell is the winner.

10:40 p.m.: The lightning hold has been lifted.

10:25 p.m.: Rain has stopped, and NASCAR is sending Air Titans out to dry the track.

9:45 p.m.: Rain is starting to come down heavily. The race track surface is quickly becoming more and more damp. The race is past the halfway point — 249 of 400 laps on the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway track — so technically it could be declared official, if it is determined that the track cannot be dried in a reasonable amount of time. If that happened, Christopher Bell would be the winner.

Red flag, Lap 249: Lightning has struck within eight miles of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans are being encouraged to exit the speedway seating area immediately.

Lap 245: As Kyle Larson’s helicopter reaches Charlotte Motor Speedway, a caution is out — for rain. It’s here.

Lap 242: Kyle Larson has landed in Concord and is headed to the race track on a helicopter. Should be here momentarily.

Lap 239: Cars are flying as there may not be much race left. Christopher Bell’s lead is by roughly a split second, with Brad Keselowski surging behind him. William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Ty Gibbs just went three-wide for P3.

Lap 234: NASCAR said there was a bit of a drizzle, but not enough to stop the race yet. Fifteen minutes. Here we go.

Lap 231: Many drivers opt to pit under the caution, with roughly 20-30 minutes until the thunderstorms to the west could reach Concord.

Lap 229: Kyle Larson’s plane is expected to land in Concord within the next few minutes. Justin Allgaier is told that the switch will most likely come after this stage.

Lap 228: We’re back under caution for the sixth time today, as Corey LaJoie spins coming into Turn 1 at the top of the race track.

Lap 212: Rain and lightning approaching the area, according to local forecasts. Nothing yet, but rain could be coming in the next 30 minutes or so. This could mean the racing could get a little crazy — what with the race now past Lap 200; if rain postpones the race for the rest of the night, NASCAR can call the race and declare the race leader the Coca-Cola 600 winner. (Think of how wild the Atlanta race was last year with impending rain.)

Here’s a closer look at the radar:

Lap 207: Back to green.

Lap 200: As per yearly tradition, all cars turn off their engines and line up on pit road for a moment of silence ahead of Memorial Day. Donald Trump was shown on the roof of the speedway.

Lap 200: “I know Kyle is gonna get in the car and blitz through the field, the car is that good,” Justin Allgaier says. Kyle Larson is currently flying over Middle Tennessee on his way to Concord, where he is expected to arrive within the hour.

Halfway through NASCAR’s longest race. Earning stage points following Stage 2: Christopher Bell, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Josh Berry, Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick.

Christopher Bell leads in the first half during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Christopher Bell leads in the first half during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

Stage 2

Lap 200: The stage comes to an end under caution. Christopher Bell gets his third stage win of the season.

Lap 196: Another caution! Harrison Burton spins on the backstretch from 29th coming around Turn 2.

Lap 193: Christopher Bell is running well, trying to hold off William Byron and claim the Stage 2 win. William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski round out the current Top Five.

Lap 187: Your Top 10 as we near the end of the stage: William Byron, Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, Josh Berry and Ty Gibbs.

Lap 176: Green for the restart: Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Chase Elliott lead us back to green.

Lap 174: After spinning on the backstretch and hit the wall hard, Noah Gragson’s day is done.

Lap 173: Pit stops come under the yellow flag.

Lap 170: Caution! Noah Gragson spins.

Lap 165: Green for the restart! Martin Truex Jr. leads from the inside. Josh Berry and Chase Elliott toward the front.

Lap 160: Kyle Larson’s plane is expected to land at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport at around 9:20 p.m.

Lap 158: Caution is out as the 12 car of Ryan Blaney — who is out of the race — needed to be removed from pit road. Serious damage to its right-front wheel.

Lap 152: Josh Berry pits from the lead, which he briefly held during the pit cycle. Christopher Bell moves back into P1, ahead of Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski, William Byron and Ross Chastain.

Lap 149: Ryan Blaney is done. Tough day for the reigning series champion and race winner.

Lap 146: Ryan Blaney gets a penalty for an uncontrolled tire.

Lap 143: The cars of William Byron and Bubba Wallace are among those on pit road. Christopher Bell still leads.

Lap 139: Christopher Bell is flying here in Stage 2. His lead has opened to nearly five seconds, but green-flag pit stops are expected soon.

Lap 134: On the track in Concord: Christopher Bell has a lead by roughly three seconds over Ross Chastain. Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman and Bubba Wallace are your current Top Five.

Lap 132: Kyle Larson hopped into a car right after his post-race interview, following an 18th-place finish at the Indy 500. He will be on his way to Charlotte shortly.

Lap 120: There was a wild final lap in the Indy 500, as Josef Newgarden overtook Pato O’Ward and won the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Kyle Larson — whose day in Indianapolis was derailed by a speeding penalty and finished P18 — could be here in roughly two hours. Justin Allgaier currently running P30 in the No. 5 car.

Lap 115: Ross Chastain passes Christopher Bell for the race lead! Ty Gibbs runs third, Alex Bowman fourth — and Denny Hamlin is back up to fifth.

Lap 110: Green for Stage 2!

Lap 106: Ty Gibbs and Denny Hamlin are among those who stayed out during the stage break pit cycle. Ty Gibbs and Ross Chastain should be on the front row when we restart.

Lap 101: Your points-getters following Stage 1 — the first of four stages today — who finished in the Top 10:

William Byron, Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Josh Berry and Michael McDowell.

William Byron flies through the first turn during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
William Byron flies through the first turn during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

Stage 1

Lap 100: Charlotte’s own William Byron collects the stage win!

Lap 94: William Byron passes Ty Gibbs! The Charlotteans are battling for the lead!

Lap 93: Green for the restart! Ty Gibbs back in front.

Lap 92: Getting close to the restart as drivers choose whether they want the inside or outside. Denny Hamlin has been dropped to the tail of the field for equipment interference after running in the Top 10 for most of the stage.

Lap 87: CAUTION! BJ McLeod has trouble exiting turn 4 and spins.

Lap 72: William Byron has passed Ty Gibbs! The 54 got caught in traffic, and the fastest car on the race track gets by it. The Charlotte native leads with 27 laps left in the stage.

Lap 52: Ty Gibbs back to the lead! William Byron back up to P2. Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. round out the Top Five.

Lap 50: PRN legend Doug Rice, who is retiring this year, has returned to the broadcast booth after driving the pace car at Charlotte Motor Speedway today. “It was intense, and something I’m so glad I got to do,” he says.

Lap 45: Joey Logano slid coming off pit road and then changed all four tires. Michael McDowell, yet to pit, has moved into the race lead.

Lap 40: Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe and Joey Logano are the first to head down pit road under green. Ryan Preece, Denny Hamlin and Josh Berry are next.

Lap 33: Justin Allgaier says the No. 5 car seems “a little tight.” He’s running 34th, and green flag pit stops are expected soon.

Your Top 10: Ty Gibbs, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott.

Lap 24: Not much movement early on at the Coca-Cola 600. Ty Gibbs has opened a healthy lead over William Byron, who started alongside Gibbs on the front row. Tyler Reddick had to serve a pass-through penalty and is already running well from the rear.

Lap 10: It’s been all Ty Gibbs in the early goings of NASCAR’s longest race.

Green flag, 6:28 p.m.: The Coca-Cola 600 is under way!

6:16 p.m.: After the NASCAR on FOX broadcast crew led the command, engines have been fired! Racin’ soon at Charlotte!

6:08 p.m.: Donald Trump spent time on pit road before the race, standing alongside team owner Richard Childress. The 45th president and presumptive Republican nominee will watch the Coca-Cola 600 with Childress atop the No. 3 team’s pit stall.

The former 45th President Donald Trump raises a fist to chanting supporters as he, and team owner Richard Childress, enter the bay for #3 driver Austin Dillon during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
The former 45th President Donald Trump raises a fist to chanting supporters as he, and team owner Richard Childress, enter the bay for #3 driver Austin Dillon during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

6 p.m.: All right, it’s time. Let’s make some predictions. Shane Connuck is taking Martin Truex Jr., the veteran who had a Top 5 finish here last year and who has run really well all season despite a P1 finish eluding him. Scott Fowler is taking Chase Elliott, the clear fan-favorite. And last but not least, Alex Zietlow is taking Christopher Bell, the 28-year-old driver who is starting in P3 and who’s driving for a race team that is always good in NASCAR’s longest race. Green flag coming soon!

5:52 p.m.: President Trump isn’t the only celebrity at Charlotte Motor Speedway today. Panthers legend Luke Kuechly is here. So is Hornets rookie star Brandon Miller. And so is ... Lamar Jackson? Yep. The NFL MVP is repping Ryan Blaney bling.

Trump did make an entrance, though:

4:45 p.m.: The 108th Indianapolis 500 has gone green — and a big crash, not involving Kyle Larson, comes right away!

4:40 p.m.: Drivers heading to the rear for the Coca-Cola 600: Joey Logano (diffuser change), Justin Allgaier (driver change, as he’s subbing in for Kyle Larson), Chris Buescher (backup car) and Tyler Reddick (tech).

Former President Donald Trump, center, waves to fans along pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the running of the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, NC on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Former President Donald Trump, center, waves to fans along pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the running of the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, NC on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

4:31 p.m.: Donald Trump’s jet just flew over Charlotte Motor Speedway, presumably heading to Concord’s airport. The 45th president and presumptive Republican nominee’s arrival could be imminent. The timing was probably coincidental, but the Trump plane got maximum exposure because the Matchbox Twenty pre-race concert on the infield had just ended. A few seconds after the final notes of Rob Thomas singing “Bright Lights,” the plane flew over the track.

4:30 p.m.: The sun is now shining in Indianapolis, where cars are on the track — and the Indy 500 is set to begin shortly.

3:40 p.m.: The green flag for the Coke 600 is specifically slated for 6:22 p.m., and it looks like the race will start on time this year. That said, rain could still wreak havoc. According to local forecasts, there is a 50% chance of rain around 7 p.m., 100% chance of rain at 8 p.m., and an 82% chance at 9. The rain will slacken thereafter — so the race will probably start AND finish today — but there is a real threat of a delay mid-race.

Here’s a closer look:

3:08 p.m.: “It’s everybody within Hendrick — Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports — we’re all part of the decision,” Larson said Sunday in Indianapolis. “There’s just been so much time and investment into this, to make this Indy 500 happen. I mean, it’s been a build-up for over a year.

“We need to run it. And I want to. I feel like I’ve got a really good shot to have a good run and potentially win. I want to be here, but I just wish that it would all work out and we could get both races in.”

2:45 p.m.: Kyle Larson will stay in Indianapolis and run the Indy 500, IMS president Doug Boles said. That means he won’t have time to travel to Charlotte to make it for the start of the Coke 600. To be clear, this does not mean that Larson won’t make an appearance at the Coke 600 at all — he still could finish the race that his replacement, Justin Allgaier, begins in the 5 car assuming he finishes the Indy 500 and gets to Charlotte before the Coke 600 ends. (As evidence of this point: Allgaier told The Athletic and FOX Sports that whether Larson were to arrive on Lap 1 or “with 10 laps to go,” Larson would finish the Coca-Cola 600. The Coke 600 is NASCAR’s longest race and has an average duration of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes.)

According to section of the Cup rule book: “A driver will be credited only with points earned in the vehicle in which he/she started the race. A driver will not be permitted to receive Points for more than one vehicle in the Race. The starting driver will be credited with all points earned by that vehicle in the Race.” Larson will need a waiver from NASCAR to remain playoff-eligible — which he is expected to get, considering NASCAR delayed the start time of last week’s All-Star Race by 16 minutes to ensure Larson arrived.

2:30 p.m.: Charlotte Motor Speedway announces it has redesigned the Charlotte Roval ahead of the playoff race scheduled for Oct. 13. The road course will have a much sharper turn on its frontstretch along with a longer straightaway, totaling 17 turns and 2.28 miles in length.

2:20 p.m.: In Indianapolis: The grandstands have reopened. Rain has stopped, and the track is being dried.

2 p.m.: Kyle Larson’s “double” is in major jeopardy thanks to a serious storm at the Indy 500. The race still hasn’t begun — it was supposed to start around 12:30 p.m. — due to a storm that forced Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials to evacuate about 125,000 fans who had already arrived for the race. Fans have now been cleared to return to the grandstands, but the track may require 90 minutes or more to dry.

Larson had at one point indicated his priority was to run the Coca-Cola 600 because of the chance to win another Cup title. However, he told reporters Sunday in Indianapolis about the Indy 500: “I think our plan is to keep this as a priority. I think I would be here racing.”

However, there are lots of options and uncertainty at the moment. If the Indy 500 is postponed by an entire day, Larson could leave, run the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and come back. He would need a waiver from NASCAR if he skipped the Coke 600 entirely.

Larson is trying to become the fifth driver to finish “The Double” by running both the Indy 500 and the Coke 600 in the same day. Kurt Busch in 2014 was the last man to do it. Tony Stewart is the only driver to actually complete all 1,100 miles, in 2001. Larson qualified fifth for the Indy 500.

Justin Allgaier is on standby should Larson need a substitute driver at the Coke 600.

1:50 p.m.: Donald Trump plans to attend Sunday’s race in Charlotte. There hasn’t been any indication on when the former president will arrive, or what he will do when he’s at the speedway, but Speedway Motorsports spokespeople have urged fans and media to get to the racetrack early because of elevated security. Trump — in an active campaign against Joe Biden to win the presidency again — isn’t in Charlotte yet and his arrival may be several hours away.

1:48 p.m.: First things first: the weather. Rain looks like it will certainly impact today’s Coca-Cola 600 — it just might not impact the start time, which is slated for 6 p.m. Brad Panovich, meteorologist for WCNC, reported that the Coke 600 should start on time but that storms could come into the area as early as 7 p.m. but more likely around 8-9 p.m. Radars also show that the rain will stop again — meaning that the race should start and finish today or late tonight. This is much different than last year’s waterlogged Memorial Day weekend, which saw the race run on Monday.

Who are the favorites to win the Coca-Cola 600?

With previous favorite Kyle Larson reportedly staying in Indy today, Denny Hamlin now has the best odds to win NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 — at +650 odds on BetMGM and FanDuel Sportsbook — followed by Martin Truex Jr., William Byron and Ty Gibbs.

How to watch and stream the Coca-Cola 600

  • Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway

  • Track Length: 1.5 Mile Asphalt Oval

  • Date: Sunday, May 26

  • Time: 6 p.m. ET, 6:22 p.m. ET green flag

  • Purse: $9,874,821

  • TV: FOX, 5:30 p.m. ET

  • Streaming: FOX Sports

  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

  • Distance: 600 miles (400 laps)

  • Stages: Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 100), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 200), Stage 3 (Ends on Lap 300), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)

Starting lineup for the Coca-Cola 600



Car No.


Ty Gibbs



William Byron



Christopher Bell



Martin Truex Jr.



Chase Elliott



Alex Bowman



Ross Chastain



Tyler Reddick



Michael McDowell



Kyle Larson



Denny Hamlin



Bubba Wallace



Josh Berry



Daniel Suarez



Kyle Busch



Ryan Blaney



Austin Cindric



Chase Briscoe



Noah Gragson



Carson Hocevar



Corey LaJoie



Justin Haley



Ricky Stenhouse Jr.



Daniel Hemric



Zane Smith



John Hunter Nemechek



Austin Dillon



Joey Logano



Jimmie Johnson



Brad Keselowski



Ryan Preece



Harrison Burton



Kaz Grala



Erik Jones



Todd Gilliland



Shane Van Gisbergen



BJ McLeod



Ty Dillon



Chris Buescher



JJ Yeley


The field in the Coca-Cola 600 head down the front stretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
The field in the Coca-Cola 600 head down the front stretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC on Sunday, May 26, 2024.