The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: Round 2
Okay Charlotte, lets get ready to rumble! Round two of the NASCAR Playoffs starts with drop of the green flag for the Bank of America 500.
"The tracks in this round suit me fairly decent, I guess," said Kyle Larson. "Charlotte, I seem to be hit or miss. I feel like whenever we end up running a day show at Charlotte I'm really good, but he night races for some reason, I struggle at. Hopefully, the weather stays away and we can race while the sun is out."
Ah yes, another curve ball to deal with in Charlotte-the weather. The threat of rain has caused NASCAR to move the start time of the race up an hour. Another challenge will be the track itself, which has been a bit slick after it was treated with that "grin strip" substance.
"I think there's a lot of variables most likely coming this weekend, most of it being weather - weather and cars on the track," said Matt Kesneth. "We'll just have to see what happens. It's the same for everybody."
Kesneth is one of 11 former Charlotte winners in the field, seven of which are still alive in the NASCAR playoffs. Jimmie Johnson is the king of Charlotte (as he is at many tracks) with eight career victories. During this run of tracks particularly, Johnson feels confident.
"We were so fast off the truck last weekend in Dover and the third-place finish we will have some good momentum heading into Charlotte," said Johnson, "We're still looking for that sweet spot and need to start leading some laps but I have a ton of faith in my Lowe's team. They never quit."
Johnson will have his work cut out for him today. He starts 25th. On the point, will be Denny Hamlin, who is currently seventh in the playoff standings and has never won at Charlotte.
"It's really big," said Hamlin. "This is a track position type race track. All of them are, but any mile and half you go to you want to have the number one pit stall, you want to be out in clean air. Good thing with our FedEx Toyota we had a good, fast car and put it on the top."
Kenseth will join him on row one, then it's Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer rounding out the top five starting positions. Points leader Martin Truex, Jr starts 17th, Tennessee native Trevor Bayne rolls off 26th.
The green flag will drop on the Bank of America 500 (hopefully) at 1:10pm. You can watch the race on News 5 WCYB.