NASCAR's longest race and first-time winners

NASCAR's longest race has a tendency to produce first-time winners. Could we see another new victor in this year's Coca-Cola 600?

David Pearson - 1961
David Pearson - 1961
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson (pictured second from the right) was the first driver to capture their first win at the 600. He would go on to win a total of 105 races, a number only eclipsed by Richard Petty himself.
Jeff Gordon - 1994
Jeff Gordon - 1994
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Photo by: Nigel Kinrade Photography

It wasn't until 1993 that another first-time winner appeared in NASCAR's longest race. His name is Jeff Gordon, yet another NASCAR Hall of Famer. The four-time series champion was just 22 years old when he won the Coke 600.
Bobby Labonte - 1995
Bobby Labonte - 1995
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Photo by: Kurt Dahlstrom

The trend of future Hall of Famers visiting Victory Lane for the first time in the Coke 600 continued in 1995 with Bobby Labonte. The 2000 Cup Series champion won the race with Joe Gibbs Racing in that iconic green No. 18 machine.
Matt Kenseth - 2000
Matt Kenseth - 2000
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Then-rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the favorite to be the winner in the 2000 Coke 600, but fellow rookie Matt Kenseth would emerge triumphant in the end. The quiet Kenseth would go on to win the 2003 Cup Series champion and although he is not yet a member of the NASCAR Hall, he is a likely candidate in the future.
Casey Mears - 2007
Casey Mears - 2007
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Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Casey Mears, nephew of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, was able to capitalize in a fuel-mileage race in 2007 to take the checkered flag. It would be his only NASCAR Cup Series victory.
David Reutimann - 2009
David Reutimann - 2009
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Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing were the surprise winners in 2009, taking the victory in a rain-shortened race. It would stand as the biggest win of his NCS career, winning just one other race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Austin Dillon - 2017
Austin Dillon - 2017
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

The most recent first-time winner in the Coca-Cola 600 came in 2017 when Austin Dillon beat out Kyle Busch in a fuel-mileage race. He would go on to win the Daytona 500 less than a year later.
Will there be another in 2021?
Will there be another in 2021?
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Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Daniel Suarez is the highest-starting driver in this weekend's race who has yet to win at the Cup level, rolling off ninth on the grid. He and the all-new TrackHouse Racing team have been very impressive in their first year together. There are over a dozen drivers in the field hoping to score their first career victory Sunday.
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