Aric Almirola tops final NASCAR Cup practice at Dover

Aric Almirola was fastest in Saturday’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Almirola went out early in the final session and posted an average lap speed of 158.277 mph, which ended up faster than the pole-winning lap put down by Kyle Larson during Friday’s qualifying.

Temperatures were significantly cooler on Saturday and the sky was overcast as there is a threat of rain later in the day.

“The track changes so much as the rubber is laid down. We built some adjustability into the car as the track changes throughout the race. I’m going to go back and debrief and check on my teammates and see what they say” Almirola said after the session.

“Overall, our car is really fast, feels really good. I’m just having a blast.”

Chase Elliott was second-fastest (158.054 mph) and Almirola’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, was third (157.916 mph). Larson was fourth and SHR’s Kevin Harvick completed the top-five.

Asked if he had a race-winning car, Larson said, “I don’t know. You always struggle with your balance here at Dover. I didn’t feel very good in (final practice). We started off really loose and tightened it up. Then that last run we tightened it up too much and actually got really loose there in the run.

“I’m a little frustrated I guess.”

Rounding out the Top 10 were Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson, rookie William Byron, Paul Menard and Kyle Busch.

Bowyer had the fastest average speed of the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps (155.880 mph). Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney were second and third-fastest, respectively, in that category.

Harvick and Kurt Busch were forced to sit out the final 15 minutes of Saturday’s final practice session because both of their respective cars failed qualifying inspection on Friday two times.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 57 22.745     158.277
2 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 53 22.777 0.032 0.032 158.054
3 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 65 22.797 0.052 0.020 157.916
4 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 46 22.824 0.079 0.027 157.729
5 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 23 22.853 0.108 0.029 157.529
6 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 54 22.897 0.152 0.044 157.226
7 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 57 22.937 0.192 0.040 156.952
8 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 46 22.969 0.224 0.032 156.733
9 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 61 22.978 0.233 0.009 156.672
10 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 51 22.985 0.240 0.007 156.624
11 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 55 23.015 0.270 0.030 156.420
12 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 56 23.016 0.271 0.001 156.413
13 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 60 23.026 0.281 0.010 156.345
14 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 43 23.040 0.295 0.014 156.250
15 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 41 23.041 0.296 0.001 156.243
16 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 59 23.045 0.300 0.004 156.216
17 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 57 23.070 0.325 0.025 156.047
18 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 59 23.092 0.347 0.022 155.898
19 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 34 23.151 0.406 0.059 155.501
20 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 42 23.176 0.431 0.025 155.333
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 46 23.193 0.448 0.017 155.219
22 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 43 23.205 0.460 0.012 155.139
23 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 47 23.220 0.475 0.015 155.039
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 44 23.270 0.525 0.050 154.706
25 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 38 23.304 0.559 0.034 154.480
26 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 39 23.314 0.569 0.010 154.414
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 25 23.327 0.582 0.013 154.328
28 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 39 23.353 0.608 0.026 154.156
29 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 41 23.464 0.719 0.111 153.427
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 43 23.489 0.744 0.025 153.263
31 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 42 23.552 0.807 0.063 152.853
32 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 46 23.756 1.011 0.204 151.541
33 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 34 23.846 1.101 0.090 150.969
34 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 23 23.985 1.240 0.139 150.094
35 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 20 24.053 1.308 0.068 149.669
36 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 16 24.191 1.446 0.138 148.816
37 51 united_states Cody Ware  Ford 13 24.401 1.656 0.210 147.535
38 99 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 22 24.654 1.909 0.253 146.021

 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Dover
Track Dover International Speedway
Drivers Aric Almirola
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Article type Practice report