NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Truck SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Austin Dillon, Riley Herbst, Austin Hill fastest in Friday Charlotte practice

4 Mins read
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Friday’s NASCAR track activity at Charlotte Motor Speedway featured some rain as the Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck Series conducted practices. The weather reached the point where the Trucks’ qualifying session was cancelled, resulting in the night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 having the starting grid set by formula.

Despite the wet conditions, Austin Hill showed speed as he was the fastest in Truck practice. Riley Herbst did the same for the Xfinity Series while Austin Dillon led Cup practice. It is the fourth practice session of the year and second in a row after doing so at COTA last week.

Dillon, the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 winner, set a fastest practice speed of 180.935 mph, beating out a trio of Chevrolets in Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, and Erik Jones. Qualifying will take place on Sunday before the 600. The field of thirty-eight is mostly the same with the exception of B.J. McLeod (thirty-second) returning to his #78 Live Fast Motorsports car that road ringer Kyle Tilley drove at COTA, David Starr (thirty-eighth) running his first Cup race of the year in MBM Motorsports‘s #66, and Cody Ware (thirty-third) and Garrett Smithley (thirty-fifth) in the #53 and #51 for Rick Ware Racing, respectively. Ware is normally the #51’s driver but had not expected to run the 600, instead hoping to enter the Indianapolis 500 before the plan fell through due to sponsorship troubles; he replaces the original replacement J.J. Yeley.

The Xfinity practice was delayed by twenty minutes due to rain. When it finally took place, Herbst led the way at 178.436 mph ahead of Daniel Hemric.

“I’ve been looking forward to this practice since probably Atlanta, just working with a new team and want as much experience with them and Richard (Boswell, crew chief) as possible and really glad the rain stayed away, and were able to put some quick lap times down and have a good Ford Mustang,” Herbst said afterwards.

Forty-three drivers are entered for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300, and qualifying means all but seven will race. Driver changes include Ty Gibbs (fourth) in the Joe Gibbs Racing #54 that Kyle Busch drove to vctory at COTA, Chase Briscoe (seventh) in B.J. McLeod Motorsports‘s #99 that Ryan Ellis ran, Dillon Bassett (eighth) taking over for Austin Dillon in Bassett Racing‘s #77, Ty Dillon (tenth) in the #23 for Our Motorsports, Josh Berry (twenty-first) returning to the #8 of JR Motorsports, Joe Graf Jr. (twenty-sixth) in his #07 SS-Green Light Racing machine after missing COTA due to injury and team-mate Ware (thirty-sixth) in the #17 rather than Cole Custer, Matt Mills (thirty-fifth) back in the BJMM #5 that Kevin Harvick drove, Ryan Vargas (thirty-seventh) returning to his JD Motorsports #4 after being replaced by Spencer Pumpelly, Chad Finchum (fortieth) in Boris Said‘s place in MBM’s #13, and Brandon Gdovic (forty-third) over Kris Wright in Sam Hunt Racing‘s #26. Stefan Parsons was twenty-ninth in BJMM’s first race with the #76.

Interestingly, the return of Gibbs, Berry, and Vargas mean Saturday’s race will have every 2021 Rookie of the Year contender after COTA featured none.

Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Hill and fellow Toyota driver John Hunter Nemechek were the top two in Truck practice at 177.684 mph and 177.585 mph, respectively. Ty Majeski finished sixteenth as he gears up for his first race of 2021 in ThorSport Racing‘s #66, which Paul Menard drove in Austin. Bret Holmes (twenty-third) takes over his #32 Bret Holmes Racing truck from Sam Mayer, while Wright (twenty-fifth) is back in the #02 for Young’s Motorsports after Kaz Grala filled in. Danny Bohn (twenty-ninth, replaces Michele Abbate), Drew Dollar (thirty-first, replaces Parker Chase), C.J. McLaughlin (thirty-third, replaces Lawless Alan), Keith McGee (thirty-fifth, replaces Roger Reuse), and Akinori Ogata (thirty-eighth, replaces Cameron Lawrence) make up the driver changes. Trey Hutchens finished thirty-fourth as he is set for his first Truck start of the year.

The Truck practice was reduced from its original forty drivers as Ray Ciccarelli had to withdraw his #49 CMI Motorsports entry due to sponsorship issues, while Spencer Davis and his #11 Spencer Davis Motorsports truck was a last-minute exit because of a “private family matter”.

Cup practice results

PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeBest Speed (mph)Laps
13Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet29.845180.93535
248Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet29.861180.83825
35Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet29.866180.80822
443Erik JonesRichard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet29.947180.31913
522Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord29.984180.09638
699Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet29.991180.05436
78Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet30.002179.98842
847Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet30.015179.91021
924William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet30.053179.68334
1018Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.114179.31946
1111Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.137179.18237
129Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet30.153179.08741
136Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord30.180178.92640
1419Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota30.203178.79043
1520Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.211178.74331
1621Matt DiBenedettoWood Brothers RacingFord30.223178.67238
174Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord30.223178.67243
1823Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota30.253178.49524
1912Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord30.259178.45933
201Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet30.265178.42444
2141Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord30.269178.40028
222Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord30.274178.37141
2334Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord30.287178.29437
2410Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord30.296178.24123
2542Ross ChastainChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet30.311178.15342
2614Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord30.336178.00635
2717Chris BuescherRoush Fenway RacingFord30.444177.37535
287Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet30.454177.31721
2938Anthony AlfredoFront Row MotorsportsFord30.455177.31141
3077Justin Haley*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet30.464177.25820
3137Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet30.465177.25325
3278B.J. McLeod*Live Fast MotorsportsFord30.878174.8829
3353Cody Ware*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet30.894174.7917
3400Quin HouffStarCom RacingChevrolet30.999174.19911
3551Garrett Smithley*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet31.489171.48810
3652Josh BilickiRick Ware RacingFord31.737170.14818
3715James DavisonRick Ware RacingChevrolet31.860169.49225
3866David Starr*MBM MotorsportsToyota32.164167.89029
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points
Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeBest Speed (mph)Laps
198Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord30.263178.43624
218Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.281178.33018
316A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet30.392177.67815
454Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.486177.13023
519Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.505177.02013
622Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord30.532176.86424
799Chase Briscoe*B.J. McLeod MotorsportsFord30.605176.44215
877Dillon BassettBassett RacingChevrolet30.605176.4427
920Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota30.689175.95923
1023Ty DillonOur MotorsportsChevrolet30.696175.91921
1131Tyler Reddick*Jordan Anderson RacingChevrolet30.703175.87918
122Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet30.786175.40417
1339Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord30.801175.31912
1410Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet30.820175.21115
1511Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet30.866174.9508
167Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet30.871174.92114
1768Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet30.890174.81415
1851Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet30.894174.79115
196Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet30.906174.72310
209Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet30.942174.52018
218Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet30.971174.35719
220Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet31.003174.1778
231Michael AnnettJD MotorsportsChevrolet31.005174.16515
2436Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet31.055173.8859
2502Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet31.062173.8469
2607Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet31.216172.98810
2715Colby HowardJD MotorsportsChevrolet31.299172.52914
2852Gray GauldingJimmy Means RacingChevrolet31.363172.17710
2976Stefan ParsonsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsFord31.370172.13910
3048Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet31.407171.93617
3178Jesse LittleB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota31.411171.9148
3292Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet31.424171.84314
3366Timmy Hill*MBM MotorsportsToyota31.439171.7615
3447Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet31.449171.70711
355Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet31.484171.5166
3617Cody WareSS-Green Light RacingToyota31.636170.69213
374Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet31.661170.55715
3874Bayley Currey*Mike Harmon RacingChevrolet31.704170.32611
3961David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota31.712170.2839
4013Chad FinchumMBM MotorsportsToyota31.773169.95610
4144Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet31.824169.68314
4290B.J. McLeodDGM RacingFord31.827169.6672
4326Brandon GdovicSam Hunt RacingToyota33.708160.19914
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points


PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeBest Speed (mph)Laps
116Austin HillHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota30.391177.68416
24John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota30.408177.58510
342Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet30.409177.57912
42Sheldon CreedGMS RacingChevrolet30.417177.53221
515Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord30.467177.24110
618Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota30.550176.75922
752Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota30.553176.74211
888Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota30.612176.40117
998Christian EckesThorSport RacingToyota30.622176.34411
1019Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingToyota30.635176.26919
1113Johnny SauterThorSport RacingToyota30.710175.83820
1238Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord30.711175.83310
1321Zane SmithGMS RacingChevrolet30.712175.82716
149Grant EnfingerCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet30.767175.51314
1523Chase PurdyGMS RacingChevrolet30.780175.43921
1666Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingToyota30.842175.08612
1740Ryan TruexNiece MotorsportsChevrolet30.846175.06316
181Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord30.863174.96716
1999Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota30.863174.96715
2026Tyler AnkrumGMS RacingChevrolet30.896174.78020
2124Jack WoodGMS RacingChevrolet31.028174.03613
2245Bayley CurreyNiece MotorsportsChevrolet31.043173.95210
2332Bret HolmesBret Holmes RacingChevrolet31.184173.16612
2425Timothy PetersRackley WARChevrolet31.226172.9332
2502Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet31.426171.83214
2656Timmy HillHill MotorsportsChevrolet31.478171.5487
2741Dawson CramCram Racing EnterprisesChevrolet31.563171.08617
2812Tate FoglemanYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet31.575171.0218
2930Danny BohnOn Point MotorsportsToyota31.610170.8329
3004Cory RoperRoper RacingFord31.668170.51918
3151Drew DollarKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota31.750170.0795
3222Austin Wayne SelfAM RacingChevrolet31.780169.91817
3334C.J. McLaughlinReaume Brothers RacingToyota32.146167.98410
3414Trey HutchensTrey Hutchens RacingChevrolet32.172167.84815
353Keith McGeeJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet32.243167.47812
3620Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet32.637165.4567
3710Jennifer Jo CobbJennifer Jo Cobb RacingFord33.304162.14310
3833Akinori OgataReaume Brothers RacingChevrolet33.635160.5471
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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