Daniel Hemric leads Thursday's first Cup practice at Charlotte

Jim Utter

Hemric, who won the pole for the Monster Energy Open race last weekend, led the way in Thursday's first Cup Series practice session in preparation for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Hemric’s set his fast average lap speed of 182.791 mph late in the 50-minute session, topping Chase Elliott (182.340 mph) and William Byron (182.211 mph).

“It would be pretty special to win the pole,” Hemric said. “The car feels even a little better than it did last week.”

Kyle Busch was fourth and Jimmie Johnson completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.

All four Hendrick Motorsports cars ended up in the top-seven, as Bowman charged into the top-10 late in the session.

Kyle Busch won the pole for last year’s 600 with an average lap speed of 191.836 mph.

Cla # Driver   Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 8 United States Daniel Hemric    Chevrolet 8 29.542     182.791
2 9 United States Chase Elliott    Chevrolet 8 29.615 0.073 0.073 182.340
3 24 United States William Byron    Chevrolet 8 29.636 0.094 0.021 182.211
4 18 United States Kyle Busch    Toyota 8 29.643 0.101 0.007 182.168
5 48 United States Jimmie Johnson    Chevrolet 7 29.669 0.127 0.026 182.008
6 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.    Ford 8 29.671 0.129 0.002 181.996
7 88 United States Alex Bowman    Chevrolet 10 29.683 0.141 0.012 181.922
8 3 United States Austin Dillon    Chevrolet 8 29.688 0.146 0.005 181.892
9 14 United States Clint Bowyer    Ford 8 29.693 0.151 0.005 181.861
10 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.    Toyota 7 29.693 0.151 0.000 181.861
11 20 United States Erik Jones    Toyota 11 29.728 0.186 0.035 181.647
12 11 United States Denny Hamlin    Toyota 10 29.729 0.187 0.001 181.641
13 37 United States Chris Buescher    Chevrolet 11 29.749 0.207 0.020 181.519
14 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez    Ford 11 29.750 0.208 0.001 181.513
15 10 United States Aric Almirola    Ford 8 29.761 0.219 0.011 181.446
16 1 United States Kurt Busch    Chevrolet 8 29.768 0.226 0.007 181.403
17 12 United States Ryan Blaney    Ford 10 29.781 0.239 0.013 181.324
18 47 United States Ryan Preece    Chevrolet 8 29.807 0.265 0.026 181.165
19 6 United States Ryan Newman    Ford 13 29.858 0.316 0.051 180.856
20 13 United States Ty Dillon    Chevrolet 14 29.909 0.367 0.051 180.548
21 22 United States Joey Logano    Ford 10 29.919 0.377 0.010 180.487
22 2 United States Brad Keselowski    Ford 11 29.930 0.388 0.011 180.421
23 42 United States Kyle Larson    Chevrolet 8 29.938 0.396 0.008 180.373
24 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto    Toyota 8 29.958 0.416 0.020 180.252
25 21 United States Paul Menard    Ford 10 29.959 0.417 0.001 180.246
26 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.    Chevrolet 11 29.962 0.420 0.003 180.228
27 4 United States Kevin Harvick    Ford 6 29.968 0.426 0.006 180.192
28 36 United States Matt Tifft    Ford 11 29.977 0.435 0.009 180.138
29 38 United States David Ragan    Ford 11 30.049 0.507 0.072 179.706
30 34 United States Michael McDowell    Ford 11 30.098 0.556 0.049 179.414
31 96 United States Parker Kligerman    Toyota 11 30.340 0.798 0.242 177.983
32 00 United States Landon Cassill    Chevrolet 37 30.518 0.976 0.178 176.945
33 15 United States Ross Chastain    Chevrolet 2 30.601 1.059 0.083 176.465
34 53 United States B.J. McLeod    Chevrolet 2 30.952 1.410 0.351 174.464
35 32 United States Corey Lajoie    Ford 9 30.992 1.450 0.040 174.239
36 52 Bayley Currey    Chevrolet 4 31.070 1.528 0.078 173.801
37 51 Cody Ware    Ford 4 31.381 1.839 0.311 172.079
38 27 United States Reed Sorenson    Chevrolet 6 31.463 1.921 0.082 171.630
39 77 United States Quin Houff    Chevrolet 8 31.801 2.259 0.338 169.806
40 66 United States Joey Gase    Toyota 10 32.236 2.694 0.435 167.515