Ryan Blaney tops Friday's final practice at Bristol Dirt Track

Ryan Blaney topped Alex Bowman in the Friday’s final NASCAR Cup Series practice at the Bristol Dirt Track but it was track conditions Blaney was most concerned about.

Ryan Blaney tops Friday's final practice at Bristol Dirt Track
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Blaney, who won last weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, posted his session-leading fastest average lap speed (89.232 mph) early in the 50-minute practice.

“It was rough, slick. Really rough, actually,” Blaney said of Bristol . “The track is kind of coming up and there are crazy big divots. It’s definitely not smooth.

“You just run through things that you think will work. There wasn’t really much lane-changing going on. (Kyle) Larson and (Tyler) Reddick could run the top for a while and then that kind of went away after a handful of minutes.

“We’re just trying to keep tires on it. We’re seeing a lot of tires cording pretty quickly, especially right-rears. Right-fronts started to go pretty quick, too. That’s something that’s going to come into play is saving your tires.”

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Bowman’s fast lap (89.135 mph) came in the session’s final minutes. Bowman also had the fastest average lap speed in Friday’s first practice. Denny Hamlin ended up third-fastest (88.985 mph).

The practice was marred by a lot of dust from the dirt surface and several times during the session, various drivers complained about problems seeing out of their windshields.

 

“At the moment, it’s pretty dusty. Everything that is not black right now is pretty dusty,” Bowman said. “They’re in a tough spot with all the rain coming in and doing the best they can.

“I had a blast. I still thought it was a lot of fun.”

Joey Logano and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 single-lap speeds were Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell, William Byron and Kyle Busch.

Midway through the practice, Larson reported that the water temperature had spiked in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Eventually the team decided to change engines, which means Larson will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field regardless of where he finishes in Saturday’s heat races.

Among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Larson had the fastest average lap speed. He was followed by Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, Elliott and Bowman.

There were only a couple of on track incidents, with one involving Kurt Busch tagging the wall with his No. 1 Chevrolet.

 

With just under five minutes remaining in the session, Cole Custer spun off Turn 4 to bring out a quickie caution but he didn’t appear to suffer any damage to his No. 41 Ford.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 67 20.172     89.233
2 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 43 20.194 0.022 0.022 89.135
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 80 20.228 0.056 0.034 88.986
4 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 69 20.262 0.090 0.034 88.836
5 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 51 20.313 0.141 0.051 88.613
6 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 66 20.319 0.147 0.006 88.587
7 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 54 20.320 0.148 0.001 88.583
8 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 67 20.321 0.149 0.001 88.578
9 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 57 20.410 0.238 0.089 88.192
10 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 64 20.415 0.243 0.005 88.170
11 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 40 20.428 0.256 0.013 88.114
12 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 53 20.451 0.279 0.023 88.015
13 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 54 20.460 0.288 0.009 87.977
14 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 69 20.461 0.289 0.001 87.972
15 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 35 20.466 0.294 0.005 87.951
16 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 59 20.467 0.295 0.001 87.946
17 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 75 20.485 0.313 0.018 87.869
18 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 60 20.516 0.344 0.031 87.736
19 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 56 20.520 0.348 0.004 87.719
20 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 65 20.545 0.373 0.025 87.613
21 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 71 20.565 0.393 0.020 87.527
22 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 56 20.566 0.394 0.001 87.523
23 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 62 20.568 0.396 0.002 87.515
24 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 58 20.581 0.409 0.013 87.459
25 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 61 20.594 0.422 0.013 87.404
26 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 49 20.642 0.470 0.048 87.201
27 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 78 20.680 0.508 0.038 87.041
28 15 United States Chris Windom Chevrolet 41 20.686 0.514 0.006 87.015
29 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 17 20.687 0.515 0.001 87.011
30 77 United States Stewart Friesen Chevrolet 28 20.690 0.518 0.003 86.999
31 96 United States Ty Dillon Toyota 49 20.723 0.551 0.033 86.860
32 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 43 20.732 0.560 0.009 86.822
33 53 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 27 20.752 0.580 0.020 86.739
34 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 16 20.799 0.627 0.047 86.543
35 66 Mike Marlar Toyota 49 20.845 0.673 0.046 86.352
36 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 60 20.845 0.673 0.000 86.352
37 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 67 20.875 0.703 0.030 86.228
38 78 Shane Golobic Ford 48 20.896 0.724 0.021 86.141
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