Edwards tops rain-shortened Cup practice, Truex leads contenders
Carl Edwards topped the opening Sprint Cup practice, which was cut short by half an hour due to rain showers.
Edwards set his fast time early in the session, circulating the track in 30.832 seconds (175.143mph). He also led the way in five-lap averages. Brad Keselowski was second-quickest and was the quickest of the seven drivers who ran ten-consecutive laps.
The first of the championship contenders sat down in third on the speed charts - Martin Truex Jr., who only ran four laps in total. As for the other drivers in the Championship 4, Kevin Harvick was sixth, Kyle Busch 16th, and Jeff Gordon 30th. Gordon never got the opportunity to make a qualifying run during the session.
On his first run, Harvick complained of a tight condition and that his No. 4 SHR Chevrolet was plowing at both ends of the circuit. Along with other adjustments, the team trimmed the left side skirt, which was rubbing. "It's terrible loose now," the defending series champion said of going out a second time. On his third run, Harvick stated that he needed more rear grip.
"It gets tighter and tighter as I get going. It's not bad, a little loose but I can handle that. It's the tightness into 1 that's going to be hurting us," explained Busch after a run.
After 39 minutes, the red flag was displayed when Ryan Preece started smoking and leaking power steering fluid.
Getting a couple drops up here," commented No. 18 Tony Hirschman moments before rain forced NASCAR to halt the on-track action at the 55-minute mark.. The cars did not return to the race track.
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