Hemric tops opening Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 practice

Staff Report

Daniel Hemric topped the board in Thursday’s opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway ahead of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with a fast lap of 182.791 mph in his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Hemric is in his rookie season in the sport’s top series and led a brigade of Chevrolets to four of the top five spots in practice.

RELATED: Practice results | Full Charlotte schedule

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Hendrick Motorsports placed three of its cars in the top five with Chase Elliott taking second (No. 9 Chevrolet, 182.340 mph) followed by William Byron (No. 24 Chevrolet, 182.211 mph) coming home third and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet, 182.008 mph) placing fifth. The fourth Hendrick driver, Alex Bowman (No. 88 Chevrolet), came in seventh in the 50-minute session and is riding three straight runner-up finishes into this race weekend.

Defending race winner Kyle Busch took fourth in the session with a fast lap at 182.168 mph in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest-finishing Ford, coming in sixth.

This was the first of three scheduled practice sessions for the Monster Energy Series. The last two will take place on Saturday morning. The next on-track activity for the Cup drivers will be for Busch Pole Qualifying at 7:05 p.m. ET with coverage on FS1.

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