By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – In the second practice for the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, six of the Top 10 qualifiers were outside the Top 10 on the speed charts. Meanwhile, most of the top five on the speed charts were made up of young drivers including two Sunoco Rookie of the Year (ROTY) Contenders.
Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney topped the speed charts in his No. 21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Fusion with a lap of 188.055 mph, 28.715 seconds. ROTY contender Erik Jones was second fastest, 0.070 seconds behind Blaney. Martin Truex, Jr., Daniel Suarez, another ROTY contender, and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five in the second practice.
Bayne praised his team for improving his car after last weekend,
“I need to give a big shout out to these guys for working their butts off this last week after the All-Star Race when we didn’t have the performance that we wanted. They’ve dialed our cars in a lot. Our biggest struggle right now is just turn three because the bumps have gotten way worse here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. We’re trying to get the car to be consistent, but you know everybody is fighting it, so it’s how much do you chase it. And then also the car has been a little tight on exit, so we’re trying to get them to turn a little better. That’s what we’re fighting.”
Truex’s Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Toyota Camry had the fastest 10 consecutive lap average with an average speed of 184.886 mph.
Kevin Harvick, who won the pole for Sunday’s race was ninth on the speed charts with a lap of 185.567 mph, 29.100 seconds.
Practice was halted once for debris in turns three and four. McMurray ran over some of the debris, forcing his No. 1 GearWrench Chevrolet SS team to make some minor repairs.
Jones, who was fastest in the first practice took his car back to the garage with under 10 minutes left in practice after feeling a vibration.
Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Corey LaJoie spent the start of the session parked on pit road, serving a 15-minute hold for qualifying inspection failures. Both Larson and LaJoie failed to make a qualifying lap on Thursday. Larson’s No. 42 Target Chervolet SS team ‘failed to properly line the car up on the Laser Inspection Stations (LIS)’ in pre-qualifying tech.