It's not the Chamber of Commerce weekend that Charlotte officials had hoped for when they rearranged the schedule. He starts 23rd and likes day races at Charlotte, so don't rule out a solid run. It was his second career win at Charlotte, as well as his 7th career win on a 1.5-mile track.
Hurricane Nate is affecting Charlotte.
The track had a different struggle Friday after it discovered it had not properly applied traction compound to the track.
KYLE MEETS WALL: While running second on Lap 136, Kyle Busch slid into the wall between Turns 3 and 4, damaging the right rear of his Toyota and causing the race's fifth caution.
"It got so hot inside the vehicle that literally it felt like you were going to puke", Busch said.
"I'm avoiding it until somebody can go up there and shows me there is a lap up there", said Earnhardt. "Something has made it to where it doesn't have grip, it's the opposite". Of all the drivers priced under $8K only he and Erik Jones have averaged over 40 DraftKings points per race over the last six races and he returns to Charlotte with one Top 5 and four Top 10's in his last six races. With limited time to work on the replacement vehicle, Earnhardt qualified a disappointing 23rd. Hamlin and Kenseth led a front-row sweep for Charlotte that made it clear they're not slowing down anytime soon. The cars, though, weren't the usual suspects. Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Jaime McMurray round out the top five. We haven't really moved the needle too much this year. He's lagging behind Truex, victor of the playoff opener at Chicago, and teammate Busch, victor the last two weeks.
"We were so fast off the truck last weekend in Dover and the third-place finish we will have some good momentum heading into Charlotte", said Johnson, "We're still looking for that sweet spot and need to start leading some laps but I have a ton of faith in my Lowe's team". "The way we look at that is they did their normal pit stop in the pit box, he left, they realized they had a lug nut (issue) and at that point to us it becomes a safety issue". "They got us track position, and we were able to keep it".
One thing feels for sure, though: Unless she finds a ride and starts to win a lot in the next few years, Patrick seems destined to go down as the most criticized winless driver in the sport's history, a fate she certainly does not deserve.
Martin Truex Jr. said he thinks the track surface will get better as the weekend progresses. Then in the first stage, he finished outside the Top 10, failing to earn any stage points in Stage 1 for the first time since July. It's his first pole of the season. Last race: Kyle Busch notched his second consecutive playoff victory. "You know, I think week to week you can probably change your favorite". In his post-race Periscope with fans, he said he had faith the track would improve and the racing quality would get better, noting track general manager and friend Marcus Smith would get things right. But if we never see her in a stock auto at Charlotte again, it's time to examine the impact she actually had on the sport she is trying so desperately to remain a part of.
"It's been a hard year from a fun meter standpoint".