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Bank of America 500

09 October 2017

Denny Hamlin earned the pole position for Sunday's 2017 Bank of America 500 by posting the best time in the final round of qualifying Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Joey Logano won last year's race, but he won't be back to defend his title.

With rain having washed out practice Saturday, Truex had no indication his auto would get much better throughout the day, and that it would eventually turn into a vehicle that would allow him to hold the lead on two late restarts, including the final green-white-checkered finish. With Tropical Storm Nate and other systems supposedly dropping tons of rain on Charlotte and the area, it remains to be seen if any events will be delayed or called off.

Hurricane Nate is affecting Charlotte. As you might recall, Bowman will be replacing Dale Earnhardt the No. 88 auto next season.

Charlotte officials figured out that it had not applied enough of the PJ1 sticky substance in that turn, and drivers had asked about it after the dicey practice session.

"I don't really know how to compare the backup auto to the primary", Earnhardt said after the abbreviated run. "Something has made it to where it doesn't have grip, it's the opposite".

Stone has pamphlets from the first Coca-Cola 600 race, a rock from the original ticket office's fireplace, vehicle tags, driver badges and awards for her time and service to the speedway.

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"Just a total team effort", Truex said. The cars, though, weren't the usual suspects.

Hamlin won the pole with a lap of 191.598 miles per hour on the 1.5-mile track during qualifying. The stronger Toyotas in qualifying this year had belonged to Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch.

Unlike earlier this year, though, Truex Jr.'s vehicle was a bit of a late bloomer on Sunday, and he entered the final stage of the race having not led a single lap.

The preliminary list for this race had 40 drivers in the running and there are in fact 40 spots on the starting grid. We screwed up, we'll get them Sunday.

"The good news is we gave ourselves a cushion just in case we had to use a Mulligan".

Six-time 2017 victor Martin Truex Jr. takes a crucial Charlotte victory and a 34-point lead over Kyle Larson into Talladega's 188-lap race. So he's had very little to complain about from his spot out front.

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Sure, when he said this summer that veteran drivers would continue to get squeezed out of rides for younger, cheaper drivers if they didn't accept pay cuts, he got a rare rebuke from former Cup champions Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. With a win on Sunday, Busch will become the first driver to boast a checkered flag at every active Cup track. He comes back to Charlotte with a win and four Top 5 finishes in his last five races with a series-leading 756 laps led, more than 500 more than second in that category.

Then you consider that this time past year was when Truex's season tanked.

"We're trying to just really stay focused and not really reminisce too much", he said.

On Dale Jr.'s plans after retiring: "From what I understand he's announced he's gonna run some Saturday races, some XFINITY races for JR Motorsports, a team that he owns".

There was also a scary moment in the second half of the race when Telvin McClurkin, a member of Ryan Reed's team, got his foot caught under the front of the auto and went for a brief ride.

"It's always important to be up front and try to get a good pit stall for Sunday".

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"It's been a hard year from a fun meter standpoint".

Bank of America 500