Ganassi teammates lead first Sonoma Cup practice

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Ganassi teammates lead first Sonoma Cup practice
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jun 24, 2016, 9:29 PM

The Ganassi Racing duo of Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray led first practice at Sonoma Raceway — one week after Chip Ganassi enjoyed his inaugural win at LeMans.

Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

In the closing moments of the session, Larson, who grew up in Northern California, knocked McMurray from the top spot with a lap pf 95.141 mph after 27 laps of practice. His final run was 0.475-seconds faster than McMurray’s top speed of 94.544 mph.

Martin Truex Jr., who won the 2013 Toyota/SaveMart 350, was third with a lap of 94.498 mph followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (94.430 mph) and Carl Edwards (94.319 mph).

Complete practice results

Earnhardt, who was fresh off of vacation in Germany, had no problem transitioning from the autobahn to the 1.99-mile road course on Friday. With just over 10 minutes remaining in first practice the No. 88 jumped to the top of the speed chart — bumping Edwards from P1.

“It’s kind of tight, that’s why that first lap wasn’t as good,” Earnhardt said. “But it’s fine now.”

Edwards, the 2014 Sonoma winner, set a fast pace early in the session that held up until the final 10 minutes.

“I don’t want to change anything,” Edwards told his crew chief Dave Rogers after 13 laps. “It’s ok.”
Aric Almirola (94.128 mph), Danica Patrick (94.011 mph), Michael McDowell (93.896 mph), Brian Scott (93.835 mph) and Joey Logano (93.767 mph) rounded out the top 10.

Jimmie Johnson posted the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average of 92.984 mph, followed by Matt Kenseth (92.492 mph), Denny Hamlin (92.469), defending winner Kyle Busch (92.382 mph) and Patrick (92.161 mph). Kasey Kahne, McDowell and Scott were the only other drivers to complete a 10-plus circuit run.
Rookie Ryan Blaney ran the most laps (34), however, on his last run he went off the course in Turn 10 with six minutes remaining.

The first incident to bring out the yellow occurred two minutes into the session when Regan Smith ran off the course. He recovered and completed 18 additional laps.

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Sonoma
Sub-event Friday practice
Location Sonoma Raceway
Drivers Jamie McMurray , Kyle Larson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report