NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Charlotte Misc.

– The Sprint Cup Series will have two different practice sessions today. The first will be held from 4:30 PM EDT to 5:15 PM EDT followed closely by Happy Hourt from 5:50 PM EDT to 6:50 PM EDT.

– The Nationwide Series will hold its qualifying session at 3:00 PM EDT, and the cars will be impounded until race time. Paul Menard was fastest in the first practice session and Joey Logano paced the field in Happy Hour.

– It’s Race Day! The Nationwide Series will run the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage tonight at 7:30 PM EDT. The field will race 200 laps (300 miles) en route to the checkered flag. North Carolina’s oldest-living breast cancer survivor, Nannie Sue Neal, will serve as the Honorary Race Director; she turns 102 on Saturday.

Stewart Grabs First Pole of Season at Charlotte

Tony Stewart grabbed his first pole this season Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway after turning a lap of 191.959 mph in 28.131 sec for the Bank of America 500. After going out 36th, Stewart had to wait for ten more drivers to exceed his time, but no one could, giving the driver of the No. 14 his 13th career pole and first at Charlotte. Matt Kenseth starts on the outside pole with a speed of 191.918 mph in 28.137 sec.

“That was a pretty cool lap; the hard part is typically we see the pack pick up a little more in qualifying than we saw tonight. You just didn’t know what to think,” Stewart said after Kasey Kahne completed his qualifying run and ended the session. “You normally see a large, large pick up from practice speeds to qualifying in the evening here, but just was happy with the lap. I felt like we had a good pick up, definitely had a really good lap obviously. It was definitely better than we thought after we got out of the car.”

Carl Edwards, AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 5, giving Roush Fenway Racing three out of the top 5 starting positions. Ryan Newman starts sixth followed by Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard. Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Trevor Bayne round out the top 10.

“I definitely got a little bit loose in one and two, but I think I could have driven it a little bit different down there. We just expected the car to travel more in qualifying here at night, so we raised the car up a little bit and it got free. At least we went a little bit faster than practice, so that was good. We’re top 10 right now and it was a good qualifying run for the No. 21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane Ford.

Josh Wise, Scott Speed and Geoffrey Bodine failed to qualify for the field.

Click here for the complete lineup for the Bank of America 500.

Editor’s Note: Did you miss the live coverage from Charlotte Motor Speedway today? You can keep yourself up to date all weekend long with Mike Neff and Amy Henderson live at the track on Twitter (@thefrontstretch) and in our Breaking News Box on the main page.

Thursday’s Live Updates:

Charlotte: First Sprint Cup Practice Results (https://frontstretch.com/breakingnews/35953/)
Dollar General to Sponsor Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 (https://frontstretch.com/breakingnews/35955/)
Cheerios to Run Special Paint Scheme to Help the USO at Phoenix (https://frontstretch.com/breakingnews/35956/)
Pretty in Pink for Friday Night (https://frontstretch.com/breakingnews/35958/)
Jeremy Clements Harnessing the Power of the People (https://frontstretch.com/breakingnews/35960/)

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