Daniel Hemric’s first pole in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car came at the track located just minutes from his hometown.
Hemric – a Kannapolis, North Carolina, native – was the fastest car in Monster Energy Open qualifying on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hemric’s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet posted a 29.643-second, 182.168-mph lap to eclipse Michael McDowell and Charlotte, North Carolina, native William Byron.
"We came here with the mindset, as a company, to have really fast race cars," Hemric said. "The guys did a great job of bringing us that. It’s good to get a pole even if it’s for the Open. ... We checked that box and anytime you do something like that at home, it’s special. I have been coming to these events since I was a kid sitting on the other side of the fence in the grandstand. We know we are leading the green flag for the Open and hopefully we can get ourselves into the All-Star Race.
"It’s good to have speed in our hip pocket and it’s good to see come it back out. Now, it’s up to us to get the other side of it tomorrow night. ... Over the past 20 years, I know that sounds crazy, I ran here at Charlotte Motor Speedway on tracks that are not even here anymore, like a quarter-mile dirt track out back that is no longer in existence. The point being, I grew up here. And to come here the first time in a Cup car (and win the pole), that’s my idea of what dreams are made of. ”
Matt Crafton Claims N.C. Education Lottery 200 Pole
Matt Crafton, returning to the site of his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win in 2008, kicked off his drive for a third North Carolina Education Lottery 200 victory in style on Friday.
Crafton took the pole with a 179.134-mph lap to keep Stewart Friesen off the top spot.
Todd Gilliland, Harrison Burton and Ben Rhodes completed the top five. Defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Kyle Busch will start eighth.
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 will go green at 8:45 p.m.