For the first time in over two months the NASCAR Cup Series cars will qualify for a race as they prepare for the longest race on the circuit – the Coca-Cola 600. But again this week, there has been no practice…and Charlotte Motor Speedway has put down some of the traction compound on the track.
The 600 is the first of four races to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway with all three NASCAR Series running races over the next few days.
Last week the drivers carried the names of front line health workers on their windshields; this week, they will carry the names of fallen military personnel on their windshields. Many of the drivers have military themed paint schemes.
On a cloudy North Caroline Sunday afternoon BJ McLeod is the first driver out on the track…and took advantage of the traction compound. With no practice, many of the drivers were concerned about the compound and were weary of driving through it.
Qualifying order for the field was set by the NNASCAR rule book.
Just the fourth driver to go out, William Byron ran a lap of less than 30 seconds at 29.95 seconds.
JJ Yeley cut a tire during his qualifying lap, but kept it on the track and off the wall.
With a time of 29.79 seconds around the mile and a half track, Jimmie Johnson goes to the top spot as the provincial pole sitter.
Matt DiBenedetto smacked the wall on his qualifying lap, causing some significant damage to the car. FOX Sports reports that DiBenedetto was running 173mph when he hit the wall. The team has only a few hours to either repair the car or bring out the backup car. After an inspection, the team and NASCAR officials have determined that there is too much damage to the car and they will have to move to the backup car. DiBenedetto will have to start the race from the back of the field due to the car change.
Aric Almirola spins out coming to the green flag for his qualifying lap but manages to keep from smacking the wall…just kisses it. Unfortunately he crossed the start/finish line and took the green flag at the end of his slide in the artificial grass and the lap will count as his qualifying run.
Kurt Busch beats out Jimmie Johnson by nine one thousandths of a second to take P1.
Kurt Busch wins the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 and will bring the field to the green flag at 6pm.