Chase Elliott leads first Cup practice at Richmond

Chase Elliott bolted to the top of the speed chart in the final minutes of Friday’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

Kyle Larson was leading the way most of the 50-minute session until Elliott’s went out with less than three minutes remaining to post an average lap speed of 121.327 mph.

Larson ended up second (121.076 mph) while reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. was third (120.757 mph). Jamie McMurray was fourth-fastest and Joey Logano completed the top-five.

Elliott has struggled somewhat at Richmond since his debut in the Cup series. He’s never started better than ninth and his best finish was 10th – both coming in last fall’s race.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski.

“Regardless, I think the race track will be different when it gets dark (on Saturday night), Harvick said after the session. “Our car started off fairly good in race trim and both of our qualifying laps got impeded somewhat.

“I think we’ll be OK.”

Denny Hamlin, who has typically performed well at his home track, struggled during the session and ended up 29th fastest.

“Throttle is really tight, pushing against the wall. Something is really out of sorts. The car feels like it goes dead straight,” Hamlin said over his team radio at one point.

“The front tires aren't doing anything at all. Entry is fine. Just real bad tight.”

Kyle Busch was forced to sit out the final 15 minutes of the first practice session since his No. 18 Toyota failed pre-race inspection twice last weekend at Bristol, Tenn.

Daniel Hemric, who is making his Cup series debut this weekend at Richmond, was 23rd fastest.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 29 22.254     121.327
2 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 17 22.300 0.046 0.046 121.076
3 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 29 22.359 0.105 0.059 120.757
4 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 61 22.369 0.115 0.010 120.703
5 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 33 22.377 0.123 0.008 120.660
6 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 24 22.378 0.124 0.001 120.654
7 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 35 22.412 0.158 0.034 120.471
8 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 30 22.413 0.159 0.001 120.466
9 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 29 22.474 0.220 0.061 120.139
10 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 37 22.486 0.232 0.012 120.075
11 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 31 22.489 0.235 0.003 120.059
12 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 32 22.493 0.239 0.004 120.037
13 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 33 22.511 0.257 0.018 119.941
14 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 43 22.520 0.266 0.009 119.893
15 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 67 22.532 0.278 0.012 119.830
16 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 18 22.576 0.322 0.044 119.596
17 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 37 22.587 0.333 0.011 119.538
18 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 31 22.608 0.354 0.021 119.427
19 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 43 22.627 0.373 0.019 119.326
20 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 34 22.654 0.400 0.027 119.184
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 43 22.661 0.407 0.007 119.147
22 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 49 22.661 0.407 0.000 119.147
23 8 united_states Daniel Hemric    30 22.666 0.412 0.005 119.121
24 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 30 22.679 0.425 0.013 119.053
25 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 41 22.685 0.431 0.006 119.021
26 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 32 22.695 0.441 0.010 118.969
27 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 20 22.698 0.444 0.003 118.953
28 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 43 22.714 0.460 0.016 118.869
29 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 30 22.729 0.475 0.015 118.791
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 28 22.742 0.488 0.013 118.723
31 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 42 22.749 0.495 0.007 118.687
32 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 33 22.801 0.547 0.052 118.416
33 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 30 22.970 0.716 0.169 117.545
34 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 15 23.123 0.869 0.153 116.767
35 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 17 23.145 0.891 0.022 116.656
36 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 34 23.270 1.016 0.125 116.029
37 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 9 23.436 1.182 0.166 115.207
38 51 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 12 23.450 1.196 0.014 115.139

 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Richmond
Track Richmond International Raceway
Drivers Chase Elliott
Article type Practice report