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Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads Chevy onslaught in first Sprint Cup practice at Charlotte

May 22, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT

Dale Earnhardt Jr. prepares for Thursday's practice session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt was the fastest of the 45 drivers that took to the track in the early afternoon session. (Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Getty Images

It was a Chevrolet onslaught, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., in Thursday’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Earnhardt paced the 45 drivers who took to the 1.5-mile tri-oval with a speed of 193.264 mph, more than 1 mph faster than second-fastest Kevin Harvick at 192.164 mph.

Seven Chevrolet drivers were part of the 10 fastest drivers in the session, led by Earnhardt and Harvick and followed by Jimmie Johnson third-fastest (192.014), Martin Truex Jr. fifth-fastest (191.775), Paul Menard (191.042), Kurt Busch (191.042), and Danica Patrick was ninth-fastest at 190.799 mph.

The fastest non-Chevy driver was Ford-powered Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with the fourth-fastest seed (191.782), teammate Carl Edwards was 10th-fastest at 190.577 mph, and Kyle Busch was the fastest and only Toyota driver in the top 10, with the sixth-fastest speed at 191.673 mph.

Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 takes place later Thursday night, starting at 7:10 p.m. ET. In addition, there will be two Nationwide Series practices from 4 to 5 pm ET and 5:30 to 6:50 pm ET.

By tradition, there will be no on-track activities at CMS on Friday. Sprint Cup drivers have two practice sessions on Saturday at 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. ET, and again from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

Nationwide Series drivers will qualify Saturday morning at 10:40 a.m. ET, followed by the History 300 race at 3 p.m. ET.

The Coca-Cola 600, the longest and most grueling race of the Sprint Cup season, will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Check back here with MotorSportsTalk for more updates as they become available later today.

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