Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Just like last weekend, the Sprint Cup Series cars were on the track both before and after qualifying this week. On Thursday, there was a practice session followed by qualifying, where Tony Stewart edged out Matt Kenseth for the pole. The full starting lineup for the Bank of America 500 can be found by clicking here. Then, on Friday afternoon/evening, two additional practice sessions were held in Charlotte. By having data from practices that occurred after qualifying, we don’t have to guess whether or not the averages times were skewed by qualifying runs: all cars were in race trim for both practice sessions on Friday. In the average speed chart at the bottom of this article, like last week, I have excluded the speeds that the cars ran during Friday’s practice. If you click here, you can view my Practice Breakdown from the last race at Charlotte.

Important Practice Notes: Clint Bowyer got loose and hit the wall in Happy Hour. There was enough damage that the team pulled out the back-up car, so Clint will have to give up his 16th-place starting spot and begin Saturday night’s race from the back of the field.

The top five drivers in the first “qualifying” practice session (held on Thursday) were:
1. Kasey Kahne – 191.455 mph
2. Paul Menard – 191.333 mph
3. Greg Biffle – 190.981 mph
4. Mark Martin – 190.927 mph
5. Regan Smith – 190.840 mph
Complete rankings of practice one can be found by clicking here.

In the second practice session, which was the first on Friday, the five fastest drivers were:
1. Brad Keselowski – 187.435 mph
2. Kasey Kahne – 187.389 mph
3. Ryan Newman – 187.266 mph
4. Kurt Busch – 187.246 mph
5. Tony Stewart – 186.812 mph
Complete rankings of this practice can be found by clicking here.
In terms of ten-lap average, the following were fastest during this practice session:
1. Tony Stewart – 185.329 mph
2. David Reutimann – 185.224 mph
3. Jimmie Johnson – 185.154 mph
4. Paul Menard – 185.069 mph
5. Brad Keselowski – 184.918 mph

In Happy Hour, which was the second and final practice on Friday, the five fastest drivers were:
1. Kasey Kahne – 188.153 mph
2. Paul Menard – 187.905 mph
3. Greg Biffle – 187.344 mph
4. Jimmie Johnson – 187.285 mph
5. Jeff Burton – 187.143 mph
Complete rankings of this practice can be found by clicking here.
In terms of ten-lap average, the following were fastest in Happy Hour:
1. Kasey Kahne – 185.598 mph
2. Greg Biffle – 185.550 mph
3. Paul Menard – 185.537 mph
4. Regan Smith – 185.522 mph
5. Kevin Harvick – 185.407 mph

AVERAGE PRACTICE SPEEDS:

Average practice speeds are calculated by taking the average speed of each driver in each practice and multiplying it by the number of laps ran. When you do this for each practice and add the  totals together, and then divide by the total number of laps ran, you get an average of their practice speed, instead of just the one lap statistic you see when you look at practice sheets. The order that they are in is the overall average speeds rank of the two practice session that were held on Friday combined. The speeds from the Thursday practice have been excluded from these calculations.

  1. Kasey Kahne at 184.810 mph over 72 laps
  2. Mark Martin at 184.810 mph over 62 laps
  3. Greg Biffle at 184.636 mph over 70 laps
  4. Tony Stewart at 184.608 mph over 66 laps
  5. Paul Menard at 184.587 mph over 55 laps
  6. Marcos Ambrose at 184.489 mph over 66 laps
  7. David Ragan at 184.475 mph over 65 laps
  8. A.J. Allmendinger at 184.435 mph over 64 laps
  9. Kevin Harvick at 184.393 mph over 63 laps
  10. Trevor Bayne at 184.345 mph over 72 laps
  11. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at 184.344 mph over 61 laps
  12. Jimmie Johnson at 184.284 mph over 94 laps
  13. Clint Bowyer at 184.263 mph over 42 laps
  14. Denny Hamlin at 184.249 mph over 64 laps
  15. Carl Edwards at 184.225 mph over 56 laps
  16. David Reutimann at 184.086 mph over 86 laps
  17. Matt Kenseth at 184.084 mph over 70 laps
  18. Martin Truex, Jr. at 183.980 mph over 70 laps
  19. Kyle Busch at 183.841 mph over 102 laps
  20. Brad Keselowski at 183.784 mph over 73 laps
  21. Kurt Busch at 183.768 mph over 66 laps
  22. Regan Smith at 183.749 mph over 77 laps
  23. Jeff Gordon at 183.529 mph over 87 laps
  24. Juan Montoya at 183.523 mph over 51 laps
  25. Ryan Newman at 183.520 mph over 80 laps
  26. Brian Vickers at 183.387 mph over 83 laps
  27. Jamie McMurray at 183.315 mph over 58 laps
  28. David Stremme at 183.282 mph over 7 laps
  29. Landon Cassill at 183.260 mph over 65 laps
  30. Joey Logano at 183.168 mph over 61 laps
  31. Jeff Burton at 183.140 mph over 95 laps
  32. Casey Mears at 183.042 mph over 53 laps
  33. Michael McDowell at 183.026 mph over 28 laps
  34. Travis Kvapil at 182.925 mph over 25 laps
  35. J.J. Yeley at 182.474 mph over 26 laps
  36. Robby Gordon at 182.356 mph over 9 laps
  37. Bobby Labonte at 182.290 mph over 63 laps
  38. David Gilliland at 182.111 mph over 41 laps
  39. Dave Blaney at 181.520 mph over 50 laps
  40. Mike Bliss at 181.500 mph over 41 laps
  41. Andy Lally at 180.070 mph over 10 laps
  42. Joe Nemecheck at 179.264 mph over 8 laps
  43. Hermie Sadler at 178.602 mph over 42 laps