NASCAR Race Weekend Central
Denny Hamlin is a solid pick this weekend (Photo: Amy Henderson)

Denny Hamlin Paces Single NASCAR Cup Practice Session Thursday at Charlotte

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series held a single practice Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway ahead of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Denny Hamlin led the pack with a top speed of 190.134 mph, the only driver to top the 190 mark. Most teams made mock qualifying runs to set up for tonight’s time trials.

Ryan Blaney was second at 189.673 mph with his teammate Brad Keselowski in third. Austin Dillon had the fourth quickest speed, with Erik Jones rounding out the top five.

Chase Elliott produced the sixth-fastest run with Daniel Suarez seventh. Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. was eighth, Kyle Larson ninth and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10.

Other notables included Rookie of the Year candidates William Byron in 11th and Darrell Wallace Jr. 30th. All-Star Race winner Kevin Harvick was 14th, followed by point leader Kyle Busch. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson was 22nd-quickest, while the recently un-retired Matt Kenseth was 27th.

The Cup cars next take to the track later tonight for Coca-Cola 600 qualifying.  There are 40 cars on the entry list, so all will make the race.

COCA-COLA 600 PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

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About Amy Henderson

Amy Henderson
Amy is a 15-year veteran writer and a five-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. Amy pens The Big 6 (Mondays) Frontstretch 5 (Wednesdays) and Holding A Pretty Wheel (monthly - Fridays). A New Hampshire native living in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits extend everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports.