Alex Bowman leads first Cup practice on Bristol dirt

Alex Bowman led the way in Friday’s first NASCAR Cup Series practice session held on dirt in more than 50 years.

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Bowman, who drives the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports and has done some dirt racing in his career, had the fastest average single-lap speed at 89.307 mph, which he set early in the 50-minute session.

“It’s a lot of fun for sure,” Bowman said. “I’m pretty happy with our Ally Camaro. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports has worked really hard guessing, I guess, on the dirt side of things and trying to use the little bit of knowledge that we do have.

“It’s a lot fun; It’s a blast going around here. It’d going pretty well so far. I feel like on long runs we’re lacking. I’ve just been running the right-rear (tire) off. We’ll keep working on it.

“I’m definitely happy to be P1 after practice but we definitely have some work to do.”

Christopher Bell, who has an extensive and successful dirt racing background, ended up second-fastest and set his quick time late in the session (88.998 mph). His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, was third (88.897 mph).

Denny Hamlin was fourth and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Cole Custer, William Byron and rookie Chase Briscoe.

The session was slowed by caution just a couple times – once for a spin by Martin Truex Jr. and with just under five minutes to go in the session, J.J. Yeley spun off Turn 4 and hit the barrels protecting the end of the pit road wall.

Among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Larson had the fastest average lap followed by Bowman, Truex, Elliott and Custer.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 42 20.155     89.308
2 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 46 20.225 0.070 0.070 88.999
3 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 57 20.248 0.093 0.023 88.898
4 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 42 20.266 0.111 0.018 88.819
5 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 46 20.314 0.159 0.048 88.609
6 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 68 20.334 0.179 0.020 88.522
7 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 58 20.434 0.279 0.100 88.088
8 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 39 20.523 0.368 0.089 87.706
9 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 36 20.535 0.380 0.012 87.655
10 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 39 20.548 0.393 0.013 87.600
11 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 47 20.550 0.395 0.002 87.591
12 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 49 20.557 0.402 0.007 87.561
13 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 44 20.568 0.413 0.011 87.515
14 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 47 20.574 0.419 0.006 87.489
15 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 38 20.595 0.440 0.021 87.400
16 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 46 20.626 0.471 0.031 87.268
17 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 58 20.650 0.495 0.024 87.167
18 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 49 20.707 0.552 0.057 86.927
19 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 34 20.711 0.556 0.004 86.910
20 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 45 20.717 0.562 0.006 86.885
21 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 43 20.728 0.573 0.011 86.839
22 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 50 20.751 0.596 0.023 86.743
23 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 26 20.760 0.605 0.009 86.705
24 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 66 20.771 0.616 0.011 86.659
25 53 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 33 20.776 0.621 0.005 86.638
26 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 46 20.781 0.626 0.005 86.618
27 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 39 20.794 0.639 0.013 86.563
28 96 United States Ty Dillon Toyota 41 20.796 0.641 0.002 86.555
29 77 United States Stewart Friesen Chevrolet 31 20.810 0.655 0.014 86.497
30 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 55 20.818 0.663 0.008 86.464
31 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 44 20.838 0.683 0.020 86.381
32 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 50 20.840 0.685 0.002 86.372
33 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 40 20.852 0.697 0.012 86.323
34 15 United States Chris Windom Chevrolet 35 20.866 0.711 0.014 86.265
35 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 53 20.898 0.743 0.032 86.133
36 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 19 20.998 0.843 0.100 85.722
37 78 Shane Golobic Ford 35 21.012 0.857 0.014 85.665
38 66 Mike Marlar Toyota 45 21.109 0.954 0.097 85.272
39 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 50 21.112 0.957 0.003 85.260
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