Denny Hamlin fastest in Thursday's lone Coke 600 practice

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Denny Hamlin fastest in Thursday's lone Coke 600 practice
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
May 24, 2018, 7:48 PM

Denny Hamlin powered to the top of the speed chart near the conclusion of Thursday’s lone Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session.

Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski had led the way most of the 50-minute session at Charlotte Motor Speedway until Hamlin’s late flyer lap.

Hamlin’s average lap speed of 190.134 mph was the only one to top the 190 mph barrier. Blaney ended up second (189.673 mph) and Keselowski third (189.434 mph).

Hamlin has never won a points race at Charlotte but did start on the pole for last October’s 500-mile event. He finished twice in both the 600 and the 500 in the 2012 season.

“From a handling standpoint, you have to build a lot of adjustability in the car (for the 600). The race starts during the afternoon and goes into the night, so the track will see big changes in terms of grip and handling,” Hamlin said.

“The first half of the race, you just try to keep enough speed to stay on the lead lap during the long green flag runs, knowing that you want your car to be at its best when the sun goes down for those last 100 or 150 laps.”

Austin Dillon was fourth-fastest in a Chevrolet and Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones, completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Aric Almirola bolted to the 10th spot right before the conclusion of practice.

Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race at Charlotte, was 14th fastest.

Ten teams had to sit out 15 minutes of Friday’s session.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, A.J. Allmendinger and Kasey Kahne had to sit out for failing pre-race inspection twice at Kansas; Austin Dillon, Harvick, Suarez, David Ragan and Jimmie Johnson sat out for failing inspection twice at the All-Star Race; and Ross Chastain had to sit for missing a rookie meeting.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 5 28.401     190.134
2 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 5 28.470 0.069 0.069 189.673
3 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 5 28.506 0.105 0.036 189.434
4 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 7 28.509 0.108 0.003 189.414
5 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 4 28.532 0.131 0.023 189.261
6 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 3 28.562 0.161 0.030 189.062
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 5 28.585 0.184 0.023 188.910
8 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 5 28.590 0.189 0.005 188.877
9 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 6 28.596 0.195 0.006 188.838
10 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 6 28.653 0.252 0.057 188.462
11 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 10 28.680 0.279 0.027 188.285
12 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 4 28.685 0.284 0.005 188.252
13 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 7 28.686 0.285 0.001 188.245
14 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 3 28.702 0.301 0.016 188.140
15 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 5 28.726 0.325 0.024 187.983
16 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 5 28.736 0.335 0.010 187.918
17 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 4 28.738 0.337 0.002 187.905
18 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 7 28.739 0.338 0.001 187.898
19 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 5 28.774 0.373 0.035 187.669
20 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 5 28.797 0.396 0.023 187.520
21 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 6 28.798 0.397 0.001 187.513
22 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 3 28.803 0.402 0.005 187.480
23 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 5 28.825 0.424 0.022 187.337
24 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 5 28.886 0.485 0.061 186.942
25 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 6 28.964 0.563 0.078 186.438
26 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 7 28.984 0.583 0.020 186.310
27 6 united_states Matt Kenseth  Ford 7 28.987 0.586 0.003 186.290
28 96 united_states Parker Kligerman  Toyota 5 29.032 0.631 0.045 186.002
29 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 5 29.040 0.639 0.008 185.950
30 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 6 29.058 0.657 0.018 185.835
31 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 5 29.101 0.700 0.043 185.561
32 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 7 29.310 0.909 0.209 184.237
33 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 3 29.666 1.265 0.356 182.027
34 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 8 29.743 1.342 0.077 181.555
35 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 3 29.939 1.538 0.196 180.367
36 55 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 10 30.159 1.758 0.220 179.051
37 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 8 30.207 1.806 0.048 178.767
38 7 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 5 30.341 1.940 0.134 177.977
39 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Toyota 2 30.407 2.006 0.066 177.591
40 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 8 30.533 2.132 0.126 176.858

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Charlotte
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Jim Utter