David Ragan tops first Friday Cup practice

David Ragan tops first Friday Cup practice
Feb 24, 2017, 7:02 PM

David Ragan led the first Monster Energy Cup Series practice on Friday with a lap of 194.888mph.

Ragan posted his fastest of 12 laps in a 10-car draft in the second half of the session.

Kasey Kahne (194.793mph), Chase Elliott (194.776mph), Ryan Newman (194.717mph) and Jimmie Johnson (194.616mph) rounded out the top-five speeds.

Johnson and Paul Menard both had an opportunity to shake down their back up cars during the 55-minute session on Friday. Johnson was involved in a three-car accident after David Ragan tagged the No. 48 Lowe’s machine. Johnson then tagged Ryan Blaney, who slammed into the wall.

The No. 21 Wood Brothers team elected to concentrate on the back-up and wait to practice on Saturday.

“The car suffered damage on both sides,” said crew chief Jeremy Bullins. “If it had just been one side we could have fixed it but we would have spent most of our time getting ready for the 500 fixing the damage.

“Our backup car is a brand new car and we felt like that our best odds to getting back to the front of this thing was to use that car."

Eighteen minutes into practice, NASCAR called a caution for debris on pit road after a brake rotor burst on Brad Keselowski’s car. Johnson, along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott participated in drafting practice with fellow Chevy drivers Newman and Menard. After Aric Almirola joined the pack, he shot to the top of the leader board with a speed of 194.032mph — the best lap of the seven drivers.

At the 38-minute mark, Johnson led a second draft with Newman, Elliott, Earnhardt, Ragan, Menard, Matt DiBenedetto, Kahne, Almirola, Trevor Bayne and Landon Cassill.

Earnhardt Jr., was sixth quick overall with a lap of 194.586mph. Menard, Almirola, Cassill and DeBenedetto rounded out the top 10 speeds. Twenty-one drivers participated in the practice.

Seven drivers posted Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages with Johnson topping the category with a speed of 192.71mph, followed by Kahne (192.698mph), Newman (192.601mph), Elliott (192.576mph), Bayne (192.515mph), Earnhardt (192.382mph) and Almirola (192.109mph). Elliott and Newman completed the most laps — 28.

1 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 12 46.178     194.898
2 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 27 46.203 0.025 0.025 194.793
3 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 28 46.207 0.029 0.004 194.776
4 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 28 46.221 0.043 0.014 194.717
5 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 27 46.245 0.067 0.024 194.616
6 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 13 46.252 0.074 0.007 194.586
7 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 20 46.295 0.117 0.043 194.405
8 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 19 46.384 0.206 0.089 194.032
9 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 12 46.474 0.296 0.090 193.657
10 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 15 46.503 0.325 0.029 193.536

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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