NSCS: Joe Gibbs Racing Still On Top at Charlotte; Edwards Paces First Cup Practice

Kyle Magda Carolinas Racing, Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. — Report by Race Chaser Online Associate Editor Kyle Magda — Kyle Magda photo —

The speed of the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) cars continued to show after Denny Hamlin’s Sprint All-Star Race win last Saturday night. But this time, there was another JGR driver at the top of the board.

Carl Edwards posted the fastest time in his No. 19 Subway Toyota with a lap of 28.085 seconds (192.273 mph). Edwards has an All-Star Race win at the 1.5 mile track, but is no stranger to victory lane  at Charlotte Motor Speedway also with two XFINITY wins coming in May 2006 and October 2011.

Behind Edwards was a trio of Hendrick engines, with defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Jimmie Johnson in second (191.673 mph). Both were two of eight drivers that broke into the 191 mph barrier. Four-time Charlotte Cup winner Kasey Kahne put up the third quickest time at 28.178 seconds (191.639 mph) and defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick was fourth (191.442 mph).

David Ragan (191.435 mph) rounded out the top-five in his No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota, with he and Edwards being the only two Toyotas in the top-five. Last Saturday’s All-Star Race winner Denny Hamlin (190.846 mph) was 10th.

Brad Keselowski ran a speed of 191.421 mph to be the fastest Ford in sixth. Teammate Joey Logano placed 20th in the No. 22 Ford.

Mike Bliss, Travis Kvapil, Jeff Green, Alex Kennedy and Brendan Gaughan were the five slowest in practice, but can pick up speed during Thursday night’s pole qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600. Kvapil, Green and Gaughan will all have to qualify inside the top-36 to guarantee themselves a spot for Sunday’s night race.

Chase Elliott is another driver who is low in owner points, but posted the 27th fastest time in practice. Elliott will make his intermediate track debut in a Cup points-paying race, since the 19-year-old driver raced in last Friday’s Sprint Showdown before heading to the XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Next on-track activity for the Cup Series will be LiftMaster Pole Night tonight at 7 p.m.. and will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.

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