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Jimmie Johnson tops Friday's NASCAR Cup practice

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Jimmie Johnson tops Friday's NASCAR Cup practice
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Mar 15, 2019, 6:11 PM

Well, look who is back on top in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session.

Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson led the way in Friday’s practice session at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., the first time since last fall he’s topped the leaderboard in a Cup series practice.

The California native’s average lap speed of 179.386 mph came very early in the 50-minute session. Austin Dillon ended up second (179.350 mph) and thanks to a late-session drafting run, Chris Buescher was third (178.975 mph).

“We do have more room to run around here, more lanes and options from that standpoint with really long straightaways, so it could be a pretty exciting race that involves a lot of drafting,” Johnson said of this weekend’s race.

“I think the longer the straightaway the better this (aero) package will show and the more competitive racing it will put on. California should be a really good test for it.”

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Larson.

Oddly enough, Keselowski was the only Ford driver to crack the Top 10.

Last year’s race winner, Martin Truex Jr., ended up 16th fastest.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 5 40.137     179.386
2 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 7 40.145 0.008 0.008 179.350
3 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 7 40.229 0.092 0.084 178.975
4 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 5 40.268 0.131 0.039 178.802
5 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 5 40.276 0.139 0.008 178.767
6 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 6 40.359 0.222 0.083 178.399
7 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 5 40.361 0.224 0.002 178.390
8 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 5 40.425 0.288 0.064 178.108
9 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 5 40.445 0.308 0.020 178.020
10 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 5 40.521 0.384 0.076 177.686
11 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 5 40.530 0.393 0.009 177.646
12 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 7 40.531 0.394 0.001 177.642
13 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 5 40.540 0.403 0.009 177.602
14 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 5 40.548 0.411 0.008 177.567
15 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 8 40.576 0.439 0.028 177.445
16 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 5 40.585 0.448 0.009 177.405
17 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 5 40.596 0.459 0.011 177.357
18 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 7 40.599 0.462 0.003 177.344
19 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 5 40.644 0.507 0.045 177.148
20 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 4 40.649 0.512 0.005 177.126
21 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 5 40.667 0.530 0.018 177.048
22 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 5 40.669 0.532 0.002 177.039
23 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 5 40.713 0.576 0.044 176.848
24 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 6 40.813 0.676 0.100 176.414
25 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 8 40.821 0.684 0.008 176.380
26 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 5 40.826 0.689 0.005 176.358
27 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 5 40.850 0.713 0.024 176.255
28 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 6 40.862 0.725 0.012 176.203
29 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 5 40.923 0.786 0.061 175.940
30 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 7 41.032 0.895 0.109 175.473
31 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 4 41.160 1.023 0.128 174.927
32 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 5 41.508 1.371 0.348 173.461
33 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 1 41.619 1.482 0.111 172.998
34 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 5 42.444 2.307 0.825 169.635
35 77 United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 7 42.767 2.630 0.323 168.354
36 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 3 43.053 2.916 0.286 167.236
37 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 4 43.458 3.321 0.405 165.677
38 52 United States B.J. McLeod  Ford 1 43.574 3.437 0.116 165.236
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Fontana
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Jim Utter