Almost 100,000 NASCAR fans didn't let threatening skies from Hurricane Nate damper the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He said it was hard to get a read on the upper groove of the track where officials had applied a sticky compound designed to improve traction and create more competitive racing. Kevin Harvick wound up atop the scoring charts in the first two rounds of Friday night's qualifying session, but he couldn't hold onto it in the final round.
Although it's the first time the 36-year-old star will start from the top spot this year, he has plenty of experience with the position with 25 career poles in the Cup Series. "After today leading all the laps that we did and doing all the things that we did, I feel like we can run with anybody", Harvick said. "That's what it takes to win championships".
Larson possibly had the best vehicle to challenge Truex, but a tire changer slipped on a pit stop when Larson was leading with 55 laps remaining. Martin Truex Jr. has almost a full race advantage over the bottom four drivers and while you would think that would allow him to somewhat sit back and play it safe, I see it the other way.
Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champion with eight victories at Charlotte, did not advance out of the first round and will start 25th. However, Harvick might have been the fastest auto in Sunday's field. "We were just kind of hanging on".
"It got so hot inside the auto that literally it felt like you were going to puke", Busch said. Ryan Newman (31), Kevin Harvick (4), Denny Hamlin (11), and Chase Elliott (24) all topped 191 miles per hour.
Denny Hamlin will lead the field to the green flag in the opening race of NASCAR's second round of the playoffs. Busch remained second coming to pit road followed by Larson, Kenseth, Elliott, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Truex, Blaney, McMurray, Hamlin, Keselowski, Suarez, Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Almirola, Earnhardt, Stenhouse, Allmendinger and Ty Dillon.
"It wasn't the day we wanted", Keselowski said.
Race 1 of the Round of 12 was unpredictable and action-packed, to say the least.
In addition to the changes in track condition, the drivers had to battle the heat and humidity that only got worse as the day wore on. On Sunday, he was trying to go a little bit closer to the wall on each lap to gain more speed.
Okay Charlotte, lets get ready to rumble! He's a young, upstart driver, compared to the experienced Truex.
"There's so many unknowns there".
"I got to thinking about when I first met him", Bass said.
"The good news is we gave ourselves a cushion just in case we had to use a Mulligan". Until 2016, he hadn't won more than one race in any year.
Busch wore a "VegasStrong" T-shirt under his firesuit to honor the victims of the mass shooting earlier this week in the racing brothers' hometown. All profits will be donated to the Support Las Vegas campaign benefitting the Direct Impact Fund. Zappos will match 100 percent of the donations made up to $1 million.
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