Daniel Suarez fastest in final Coke 600 practice at Charlotte

Jim Utter

, Suarez went to the top of the leaderboard early and his average lap speed of 180.705 mph stood the remainder of the practice.

Daniel Hemric ended up second (180.6876 mph) and Denny Hamlin was third (180.554 mph). Ryan Preece and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

Suarez’s performance good be a good omen.

Seven Cup series drivers have won their first career races in the 600, with Austin Dillon the most recent to accomplish the feat in 2017. Suarez, a former Xfinity Series champion, is still looking for his first Cup win.

Rounding out the top-10 in practice were Erik Jones, Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, pole-winner William Byron and Clint Bowyer.

Kyle Busch had the fastest average lap speed (179.485 mph) among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. Austin Dillon and Hemric were second and third, respectively, in that category.

Cla # Driver   Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez    Ford 51 29.883     180.705
2 8 United States Daniel Hemric    Chevrolet 27 29.886 0.003 0.003 180.687
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin    Toyota 52 29.908 0.025 0.022 180.554
4 47 United States Ryan Preece    Chevrolet 46 29.922 0.039 0.014 180.469
5 18 United States Kyle Busch    Toyota 46 29.954 0.071 0.032 180.276
6 20 United States Erik Jones    Toyota 46 29.963 0.080 0.009 180.222
7 3 United States Austin Dillon    Chevrolet 13 29.994 0.111 0.031 180.036
8 21 United States Paul Menard    Ford 41 30.038 0.155 0.044 179.772
9 24 United States William Byron    Chevrolet 48 30.043 0.160 0.005 179.742
10 14 United States Clint Bowyer    Ford 47 30.061 0.178 0.018 179.635
11 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.    Toyota 30 30.070 0.187 0.009 179.581
12 42 United States Kyle Larson    Chevrolet 47 30.080 0.197 0.010 179.521
13 38 United States David Ragan    Ford 43 30.087 0.204 0.007 179.480
14 10 United States Aric Almirola    Ford 59 30.099 0.216 0.012 179.408
15 22 United States Joey Logano    Ford 42 30.105 0.222 0.006 179.372
16 2 United States Brad Keselowski    Ford 40 30.107 0.224 0.002 179.360
17 4 United States Kevin Harvick    Ford 41 30.120 0.237 0.013 179.283
18 9 United States Chase Elliott    Chevrolet 62 30.126 0.243 0.006 179.247
19 88 United States Alex Bowman    Chevrolet 42 30.144 0.261 0.018 179.140
20 37 United States Chris Buescher    Chevrolet 47 30.153 0.270 0.009 179.087
21 12 United States Ryan Blaney    Ford 52 30.153 0.270 0.000 179.087
22 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.    Ford 39 30.210 0.327 0.057 178.749
23 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto    Toyota 48 30.213 0.330 0.003 178.731
24 1 United States Kurt Busch    Chevrolet 47 30.222 0.339 0.009 178.678
25 48 United States Jimmie Johnson    Chevrolet 48 30.243 0.360 0.021 178.554
26 34 United States Michael McDowell    Ford 43 30.287 0.404 0.044 178.294
27 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.    Chevrolet 51 30.299 0.416 0.012 178.224
28 6 United States Ryan Newman    Ford 35 30.357 0.474 0.058 177.883
29 96 United States Parker Kligerman    Toyota 24 30.464 0.581 0.107 177.258
30 36 United States Matt Tifft    Ford 43 30.488 0.605 0.024 177.119
31 13 United States Ty Dillon    Chevrolet 35 30.492 0.609 0.004 177.096
32 00 United States Landon Cassill    Chevrolet 31 30.727 0.844 0.235 175.741