Concord, NC – The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session of the weekend proved to not be very indicative on how the Joe Gibbs Racing cars would perform this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Just one of their four cars were in the top 10 of the speed charts.
In fact, they were 4-16-17-21 in the opening practice at the 1.5-mile North Carolina track. But, in qualifying later on in the day, they flipped the script.
Denny Hamlin earned his first pole of the season and 25th of his Cup career for Sunday’s Bank of America 500 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/PRN). His JGR teammate of Matt Kenseth will join him on the front row too as the driver of the No. 20 Toyota will start second on Sunday.
But, another JGR driver in Kyle Busch will roll off fourth in his No. 18 Toyota, giving JGR three cars in the first two rows.
Suarez, also qualified 14th too.
That gives them high hopes for Sunday’s race.
Hamlin, has finished inside the top 10 in 12 of his last 16 Charlotte starts, including a fifth place run in May. On top of that, the JGR driver has been great on intermediate tracks this year too. Hamlin, has four straight top five finishes on intermediates entering this weekend and I think another top five is on its way.
Busch, finished 2nd at Charlotte in May and has 15 top 10 finishes in his last 20 Charlotte starts. In fact, nine of those 15 were inside the top six. He also has been stellar on 1.5-mile tracks this season, including nabbing four top five finishes in his last five starts on intermediate tracks.
You also can’t sleep on Kenseth either. He has five top five finishes in his last eight Charlotte starts.
This is the group to watch once again.