If Josh Wise cracks the top 40 this week in the Coca-Cola 600, it will be his best result in four attempts. He has finished exactly 41st in his latest three Charlotte Motor Speedway races.
The last time Wise was running at the end of a Charlotte race, he finished 26th in the 2013 Coke 600 and was seven laps off the pace. If he can repeat that feat, he would earn 12 place differential points after qualifying 38th on Thursday.
Jamie McMurray should be watched closely on Saturday to evaluate whether he has top-five potential. Last year he swept that spot at Charlotte Motor Speedway after starting 26th in May and 18th in October.
McMurray qualified 22nd for this week’s Coca-Cola 600, which places him in between last year’s pair of qualifications. In fall 2013 he started 25th, however, and could only rise to 19th.
Chase Elliott will make his third NASCAR Cup start at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600. He qualified easily on time in 28th.
This is Elliott’s first attempt on a similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track in a points’ race, but he has looked comfortable so far in practice and during the Sprint Showdown last weekend. He should be considered a favorite to finish in the top 20 at least.
Sam Hornish Jr. qualified 26th for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which has been about average for the No. 9 this year. His last four qualification attempts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks have been either 26th or 29th.
Hornish finished 24th and 26th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway respectively. Last week at Kansas Speedway he had his best run on this track type with Richard Petty Motorsports: Hornish finished 16th after starting 26th.
Matt DiBenedetto has been getting progressively stronger on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. He failed to qualify for his first two attempts, took a provisional to get into the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway before finishing 34th and advanced from 35th to 25th last week at Kansas Speedway.
DiBenedetto was forced to take another provisional at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coke 600 and teams tend to put more emphasis on this race than others, which increases the competition. If the No. 83 finishes in the 30th-place range, he could be a good value because of the place-differential points awarded after starting 42nd.
Kyle Fowler will pilot the No. 26 PowerAll Toyota for the running of the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday.
This will mark Fowler's 16th career start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series but the first with JGL Racing. He has four previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the Concord, North Carolina track with a best finish of 23rd. He also competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the track last weekend where he came home with a 20th place finish.-Integrity Sports Marketing
Jeff Gordon knows it will be difficult to match the feeling he gets racing after this season, but broadcasting could provide something close to it.
That was among the reasons Gordon decided to pursue broadcasting, leading to Thursday’s announcement that he’ll join Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip in the booth for Fox’s broadcast of NASCAR Sprint Cup events. Gordon has signed a multi-year contract. He replaces Larry McReynolds, who had been in the booth since Fox began broadcasting Cup races in 2001. McReynolds will remain an analyst for the network.
Sprint Cup regular Austin Dillon has the best 10-lap consecutive average speed in the XFINITY Series final practice for the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The average speed of 177.477 mph in the No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro was best of the 13 cars that ran 10 consecutive laps on the track for this final practice session. No. 5 Kasey Kahne, No. 6 Darrell Wallace Jr., No. Ryan Reed and No. 62 Brendan Gaughan are the rest of the top five on this list.