Hamlin comes into the 30th race of the season looking to score his third win of the year.
Earnhardt's optimism quickly dissipated when he hit the Turn 4 wall in the first five minutes of practice. Busch wrecked again in Sunday's race and also blamed it.
Busch was not the only driver who received medical attention for dehydration post-race. He also earned a slot in the playoff's third round with the win, the fourth in four races for auto manufacturer Toyota.
"I'm so lucky to get to do this and I don't know, it's just one of those weekends - lot of pressure", said Truex. He also led the most laps by far in the Coca-Cola 600 earlier this year but was only able to finish third.
Truex dominated the final 100 laps of the race, and was named its victor when the last caution flag was raised during lap 334.
Kahne pitted on Lap 124 and dropped to 30th, one lap down.
Kyle Busch's Dover victory last Sunday vaulted him past Kyle Larson to second behind Martin Truex Jr.in the point standings, and set the field for the next round of playoff races.
"It's definitely a little bit different feeling this year", Truex said, before correcting himself.
Earnhardt drove into the high line of the track and slipped in the grippy substance Charlotte officials had used on the surface. "We still could get better, and hopefully tomorrow in practice, we get our vehicle tuned in and ready to run 500 miles". The New Jersey native sat 23rd at the end of the opening round. But the auto got way loose for whatever reason. He ended up crossing the finish line with a few auto lengths between him and the rest of the pack, so for those few laps, everyone in the pit box had to postpone their celebrations.
"I'd love to do it by winning Talladega, but I think, realistically, you've got to plan on points", Stenhouse said.
Meanwhile, this could be the chance for Jimmie Johnson to start his charge, though he'll need to work up to the middle of the pack to do it.
Today's Bank of America 500 was the first of three races in the Stage of 12, the second phase of the NASCAR postseason after four drivers were eliminated from championship contention last weekend. He holds 12 top five and 16 top 10 finishes as the Round of 12 begins. The No. 78 team didn't have the best vehicle, but the team made the best decisions when they needed to. As the green and white checkered flag flew signaling the conclusion of Stage Two, Truex had worked his way up to fourth.
As the series head to Talladega next weekend, a track which is legendary for its nearly complete randomness at times, it's really anyone's title to win. Unfortunately, Larson and his crew could not get out of their own way. While he didn't lose a lap, Johnson had been running fourth before the stop and had gained spots in the pits all day.
Chase Elliott finished second for the second consecutive week and sixth time in his career.
STAGE TWO: Harvick finished one second in front of Elliott to win the second stage. That said, Kyle Larson, now third in the standings, said he understands why NASCAR opted for the new course. Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 2 a.m., Sunday, race, 1 a.m. Track: Suzuka International Racing Course (circuit, 3.6 miles). All the fans want a night race because it is a little more comfortable, just a really hard choice to make.
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