Dover Cup practice mired by inspection delays; Menard fastest

shares
comments
Dover Cup practice mired by inspection delays; Menard fastest
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
May 4, 2018, 3:44 PM

Paul Menard ended up fastest in Friday’s lone Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series session that saw a majority of teams with little time on the track.

Menard’s No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford was among the few cars that had cleared inspection and were on the track at the start of the session at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He posted a session-best average lap speed of 159.830 mph.

Jimmie Johnson, who was one of the drivers whose car had the most difficulty getting through inspection, went out late and ended up second-fastest (159.440 mph). That was a good sign for the 11-time winner at the track. Kevin Harvick ended up third-fastest (159.412 mph).

“I can relax a little bit more coming to this race track. With it being my best track and the love I have for this place, I’m always excited to come,” Johnson said.

“But trying to get the No. 48 car back into Victory Lane, I can take a little pressure off myself here knowing the rhythm-style and the way you drive this track and the set-up for the car.”

Kyle Busch was fourth and Brad Keselowski completed the top-five.

With less than five minutes remaining, Corey LaJoie’s No. 72 Chevrolet appeared to blow its engine, dropping fluid on the track and bring out a caution. After the clean-up, NASCAR extended the practice session by about three minutes.

Most cars had not been able to clear inspection prior to the start of the practice session and through the first 10 minutes, only 10 had made it out on the track.

Earlier in the week, NASCAR had notified teams that it would be focusing attention during inspection on Friday to the car’s splitters but yet several showed up having difficulty clearing that area of inspection before they could hit the track.

With just over 30 minutes into the session, only 24 cars had taken laps. Among those who were still experiencing problems were the teams of Martin Truex Jr., Johnson, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“There’s something that NASCAR is looking for every week,” Stenhouse said before he was able to get on track with his No. 17 Ford. “We were hoping that we’d have more than one or two runs at it.”

Ross Chastain was forced to miss the final 15 minutes of the practice session for being late to pre-qualifying/race inspection last weekend at Talladega.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 6 22.524     159.830
2 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 6 22.579 0.055 0.055 159.440
3 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 4 22.583 0.059 0.004 159.412
4 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 5 22.599 0.075 0.016 159.299
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 5 22.612 0.088 0.013 159.208
6 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 4 22.630 0.106 0.018 159.081
7 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 6 22.643 0.119 0.013 158.990
8 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 12 22.653 0.129 0.010 158.919
9 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 6 22.658 0.134 0.005 158.884
10 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 3 22.681 0.157 0.023 158.723
11 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 5 22.706 0.182 0.025 158.548
12 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 23 22.709 0.185 0.003 158.527
13 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 13 22.744 0.220 0.035 158.284
14 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 4 22.754 0.230 0.010 158.214
15 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 5 22.759 0.235 0.005 158.179
16 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 4 22.761 0.237 0.002 158.165
17 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 5 22.782 0.258 0.021 158.019
18 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 4 22.782 0.258 0.000 158.019
19 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 5 22.819 0.295 0.037 157.763
20 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 7 22.822 0.298 0.003 157.743
21 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 10 22.850 0.326 0.028 157.549
22 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 10 22.873 0.349 0.023 157.391
23 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 8 22.890 0.366 0.017 157.274
24 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 7 22.899 0.375 0.009 157.212
25 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 12 22.902 0.378 0.003 157.192
26 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 5 22.910 0.386 0.008 157.137
27 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 13 22.939 0.415 0.029 156.938
28 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 5 22.994 0.470 0.055 156.563
29 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 7 23.041 0.517 0.047 156.243
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 6 23.060 0.536 0.019 156.114
31 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 9 23.285 0.761 0.225 154.606
32 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 12 23.703 1.179 0.418 151.880
33 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 6 23.869 1.345 0.166 150.823
34 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 4 23.944 1.420 0.075 150.351
35 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 8 24.199 1.675 0.255 148.766
36 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 3 24.274 1.750 0.075 148.307
37 99 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 5 24.791 2.267 0.517 145.214
38 51 united_states Cody Ware  Ford 3 25.465 2.941 0.674 141.371
Next NASCAR Cup article
With his Talladega win, Joey Logano's "goal has changed"

Previous article

With his Talladega win, Joey Logano's "goal has changed"

Next article

Kyle Larson edges Harvick and Truex for Dover pole

Kyle Larson edges Harvick and Truex for Dover pole
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Dover
Location Dover International Speedway
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report