Playoff driver Erik Jones, along with Darrell Wallace Jr., will be going to backup cars for Sunday afternoon’s race on the Charlotte road course after separate heavy crashes in practice.
Both drivers encountered problems at the backstretch chicane where they slammed into the tire barriers and destroyed the front ends of their respective cars. Wallace’s accident happened at the beginning of the morning practice session. Jones had his issue with just minutes remaining. Jones and Wallace were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the session at 105.173mph (78.043 seconds). Johnson ran eight laps. Second fastest was Daniel Hemric at 104.962mph (78.200s). Hemric is making his second career start this weekend and has been fast in the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.
Completing the top five were Martin Truex Jr. at 104.878mph (78.262s), Brad Keselowski at 104.870mph (78.268s), and Kyle Busch at 104.753mph (78.356s).
Playoff drivers Chase Elliott (104.659 mph, 78.426s), Kyle Larson (104.652mph, 78.431s), Joey Logano (104.628mph, 78.449s), and Ryan Blaney (104.396mph, 78.624s) were sixth, seventh, eight, and ninth fastest, respectively. William Byron rounded out the top 10 at 104.162mph (78.800s).
Aric Almirola also had trouble in the session, crashing at the same time as Wallace’s incident. The No. 10 Ford suffered damage to the rear end, but Stewart-Haas Racing has been working to repair the car.
Polesitter Kurt Busch also brought out a caution when his car came to a stop in-between Turns 3 and 4 for what appeared to be a mechanical issue.
UP NEXT: Final practice at 1:30 p.m. ET.