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Blaney fastest in final Cup practice; Bowman wrecks backup car

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Blaney fastest in final Cup practice; Bowman wrecks backup car
By:
Jul 20, 2019, 5:42 PM

Ryan Blaney led the way in Saturday’s final practice session at New Hampshire which also saw Alex Bowman wreck for the second time this weekend.

Blaney’s average lap speed of 133.572 mph topped Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin (133.226 mph) and Kyle Busch (132.739 mph).

Kevin Harvick was fourth and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 in practice were pole-winner Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson.

Blaney also led the way among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps with an average lap speed of 132.687 mph. Kyle Busch and Keselowski were second and third, respectively, in that category.

The final practice ended up being an eventful one.

Just over 22 minutes into the 50-minute session, Bowman spun and hit the Turn 1 wall for the second time this weekend. Bowman was already in a backup car, having wrecking his primary car in Friday’s practice.

 

“I don’t even know how I did that, I wasn’t even loose,” Bowman said over his team radio after the incident.

It appeared Hendrick Motorsports was pulling out Johnson’s backup No. 48 car to prepare as the No. 88 team’s third car of the weekend. Bowman’s crew chief, Greg Ives, called a team meeting in the hauler shortly after the incident.

Bowman was one of five drivers who already had to move to the rear of the field before the start of Sunday’s Foxwood Casino 301.

“For Alex and the team, you just have to keep track of the big picture here. We have to stay focused and not panic and go out tomorrow and do the best we can in the race," said Jeff Andrews, HMS' vice president of competition. "Different situations. Certainly yesterday was not Alex's fault as we had a mechanical failure there with the drive-line. Today, we are not really sure what happened there at this point and time. We just need to get the best car under Alex and the race team for tomorrow.”

About eight minutes into the session, a caution was displayed for debris when Matt DiBenedetto shredded his left-rear tire. Practice resumed shortly thereafter.

 

Unfortunately, 35 minutes into the session, DiBenedetto experienced the same problem with the same tire, which again placed the track under caution.

Five drivers – Landon Cassill, Blaney, Paul Menard, Chris Buescher and Daniel Hemric – had to sit out the final 15 minutes of practice. Cassill, Blaney, Menard and Buescher were late to pre-qualifying inspection Friday and Hemric failed pre-qualifying inspection twice.

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Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 37 28.515     133.572
2 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 48 28.589 0.074 0.074 133.226
3 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 52 28.694 0.179 0.105 132.739
4 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 56 28.705 0.190 0.011 132.688
5 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 49 28.714 0.199 0.009 132.646
6 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 61 28.726 0.211 0.012 132.591
7 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 43 28.727 0.212 0.001 132.586
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 41 28.728 0.213 0.001 132.581
9 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 53 28.732 0.217 0.004 132.563
10 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 53 28.751 0.236 0.019 132.475
11 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 44 28.797 0.282 0.046 132.264
12 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 38 28.812 0.297 0.015 132.195
13 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 44 28.813 0.298 0.001 132.190
14 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 61 28.816 0.301 0.003 132.177
15 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 52 28.818 0.303 0.002 132.167
16 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 47 28.832 0.317 0.014 132.103
17 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 29 28.834 0.319 0.002 132.094
18 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 20 28.842 0.327 0.008 132.057
19 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 30 28.882 0.367 0.040 131.875
20 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 11 28.951 0.436 0.069 131.560
21 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 38 28.953 0.438 0.002 131.551
22 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 42 28.955 0.440 0.002 131.542
23 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 27 29.021 0.506 0.066 131.243
24 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 41 29.037 0.522 0.016 131.171
25 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 34 29.048 0.533 0.011 131.121
26 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 41 29.054 0.539 0.006 131.094
27 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 48 29.123 0.608 0.069 130.783
28 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 51 29.135 0.620 0.012 130.729
29 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 28 29.141 0.626 0.006 130.702
30 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 40 29.208 0.693 0.067 130.403
31 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 35 29.297 0.782 0.089 130.006
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 19 29.656 1.141 0.359 128.433
33 51 United States Andy Seuss  Ford 13 30.024 1.509 0.368 126.859
34 52 United States Austin Theriault  Chevrolet 17 30.698 2.183 0.674 124.073

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Loudon
Drivers Alex Bowman , Ryan Blaney
Author Jim Utter