Byron sets Coke 600 practice pace at Charlotte

William Byron led the way in NASCAR Cup Series practice for the Coca-Cola 600 on Saturday evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.318mph (29.782s).

Second fastest in practice was Tyler Reddick at 180.114mph. Bubba Wallace made his way to third at 180.060mph, Carson Hocevar was fourth at 179.336mph and Ty Gibbs, fifth at 179.063mph.

Kyle Larson came in sixth at 179.027mph, Chris Buescher, seventh at 178.974mph, Martin Truex Jr., eighth at 178.790, Ross Chastain, ninth at 178.761mph and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10 at 178.761mph.

Ryan Blaney, the defending race winner, was 12th in practice. His fastest lap was 178.024mph.


There were two incidents in practice:

Byron had a single car spin with no contact in Turn 4 after setting the fastest time.

Chris Buescher was not as lucky as a left rear tire issue sent him for a spin in Turns 1 and 2, hitting driver’s side against the SAFER barrier and riding the wall before the car came to rest. The RFK Racing will not make a qualifying attempt and expects to be in a backup car for the race.

“It’s not good,” Buescher said about being behind going into the Coca-Cola 600. “[We were] really fast and I think we know how to get back there. I know this is going to make a really long night for our group. It’s going to be a big challenge but I know they’re going to be able to get another really fast race car put together and on track for us for tomorrow.

“That was quite a shame to have that kind of speed. It’s obviously a big race weekend and we’ve been fast here a lot and somehow or another this [race] ends up being the one that gets us in some weird way. Maybe we got it out of the way today so we can have a smooth day tomorrow, albeit coming from behind. But like I said, I have a lot of confidence in our group being able to put another really fast Mustang.”

Jimmie Johnson, making another start with Legacy Motor Club, was 35th fastest in practice. Shane van Gisbergen, making his Coca-Cola 600 debut, was last in 39th.

Kyle Larson led the way in the best 10 consecutive lap average during practice over Ty Gibbs, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr.

Story originally appeared on Racer