Jimmie Johnson picked up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he left off on Sunday— on top the leader board for the open test.
After posting his 76th win at Atlanta Motor Speedway four days ago, Johnson posted the fastest lap in the morning session at LVMS on Thursday with a lap of 192.981 mph. Johnson, who has four wins at the 1.5-mile track, ran a total of 18 laps.
Denny Hamlin (192.843 mph), Matt Kenseth (192.137 mph), Brian Vickers (191.164 mph) and Danica Patrick (191.211 mph) rounded out the top five in the first session.
Brad Keselowski, whose team changed a drive shaft after the driver detected a vibration, was sixth fast with a speed of 191.096 mph. Las Vegas native Kyle Busch was seventh quick (190.995 mph) followed by Ryan Blaney (190.671 mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (190.658 mph) and Kurt Busch (190.651 mph).
"The biggest surprise is how fast the cars are going,” said two-time Las Vegas victor Carl Edwards, who was 14th quick with a lap of 189.873 mph. “The speeds are high. Tons of corner speed, tons of throttle time. It’s going to be treacherous.
"I really applaud NASCAR for going in this direction. I hope they continue to go in this direction."
Kevin Harvick, the defending winner of the Kobalt 400 posted the 12th fastest lap (190.215 mph).
Rookie Chase Elliott competed 45 laps, the most in the session.