CONCORD, N.C. – Daniel Hemric set the gold standard during Monster Energy Open qualifying on Friday evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway, sweeping both knockout rounds en route to the pole.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie ripped off a lap of 29.643 seconds (182.168 mph) during his final round run to take his first Open pole in his first appearance at NASCAR’s All-Star weekend.
“We came here with a mindset as a company that we needed to have a really fast race car, and the guys did good job of bringing me just that,” said Hemric of his No. 8 Caterpillar/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. “This car has run really, really well … and it’s good to get a pole, even If it’s just for the Open. I think clean air and track position is going to be really important when it comes time for the race on Saturday.”
Hemric’s top qualifying effort comes at the same facility where he grew up running Legend cars and Bandoleros as a kid, making Friday’s result meaningful for the now 28-year-old.
“Any time you can do something like this, especially at home, is very special,” Hemric noted. “I always tell everyone that I’ve watched these events around my hometown since I was a kid and I was sitting in the grandstands. It’s cool now to be able to lead the field to green in the Open and hopefully be able to race our way into the All-Star Race from there.”
Hemric will be joined on the front row by Michael McDowell, who put Front Row Motorsports on the front row for the Open for the first time with a lap of 29.797 seconds (181.226 mph) in the No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford Mustang.
“Drew Blickensderfer and all our guys brought a really fast Dockside Logistics Ford Mustang to the race track this weekend,” McDowell noted. “It’s a brand-new chassis for us and a new build. We were close, and we knew we had a shot at it. We just came up a little bit short there.
“We’ve got clean air though on the front row, and we believe we’ll have a shot tomorrow night.”
William Byron and Daniel Suarez will share row two of the grid, while Paul Menard completed the top five in the legendary Wood Brothers Racing Ford.
Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher closed the eight drivers who advanced through both knockout rounds.
David Ragan was the first driver who failed to advance to the second round, and as a result will start ninth in the No. 38 MDS Transport Ford Mustang after a lap of 30.136 seconds (179.188 mph).
Bubba Wallace rolls off 10th for Richard Petty Motorsports, while Matt DiBenedetto starts 12th for Leavine Family Racing and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lines up 15th for Roush Fenway Racing.
Saturday’s Open will be run in three stages of 20, 20 and 10 laps. Each of the three stage winners will advance into the field for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.
Below are the results from Friday’s Monster Energy Open qualifying session.
- #8 – Daniel Hemric, 29.643 seconds (182.168 mph)
- #34 – Michael McDowell, 29.797 seconds (181.226 mph)
- #24 – William Byron, 29.819 seconds (181.093 mph)
- #41 – Daniel Suarez, 29.827 seconds (181.044 mph)
- #21 – Paul Menard, 29.890 seconds (180.662 mph)
- #88 – Alex Bowman, 29.918 seconds (180.493 mph)
- #42 – Kyle Larson, 29.918 seconds (180.493 mph)
- #37 – Chris Buescher, 30.132 seconds (179.211 mph)
- #38 – David Ragan, 30.046 seconds (179.724 mph)
- #43 – Bubba Wallace, 30.073 seconds (179.563 mph)
- #47 – Ryan Preece, 30.105 seconds (179.372 mph)
- #95 – Matt DiBenedetto, 30.106 seconds (179.366 mph)
- #36 – Matt Tifft, 30.136 seconds (179.188 mph)
- #13 – Ty Dillon, 30.152 seconds (179.093 mph)
- #17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 30.162 seconds (179.033 mph)
- #32 – Corey LaJoie, 30.317 seconds (178.118 mph)
- #00 – Landon Cassill, 30.508 seconds (177.003 mph)
- #15 – Ross Chastain, 30.688 seconds (175.965 mph)
- #53 – B.J. McLeod, 30.801 seconds (175.319 mph)
- #52 – Bayley Currey, 31.097 seconds (173.650 mph)
- #51 – Cody Ware, 31.711 seconds (170.288 mph)
- #66 – Timmy Hill, 32.019 seconds (168.650 mph)
- #77 – Quin Houff, 32.316 seconds (167.100 mph)
- #46 – Joey Gase, NT (0.000 mph)