Keselowski leads final Southern 500 practice at Darlington

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Keselowski leads final Southern 500 practice at Darlington
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Sep 3, 2016, 7:04 PM

Brad Keselowski recovered from his Darlington stripe in the first practice to set the top speed in Happy Hour — 174.649mph.

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Keselowski completed five runs for a total of 51 laps. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford, who started last year’s Southern 500 from the pole and finished second, is still looking for his first victory at Darlington Raceway.

Kurt Busch was second quick in single lap runs with a speed of 174.031mph, followed by Jimmie Johnson 174.019mph, Kasey Kahne (173.656mph), Paul Menard (173.454mph) and Greg Biffle (173.234mph). Johnson’s 74 laps were the most completed in final practice.

Defending Southern 500 winner Carl Edwards was the fastest Toyota (172.826mph) in the single lap run category. After he completed his final run, he told the crew he was “a little tight, center off.” Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (172.687mph), Denny Hamlin (172.586mph) and Trevor Bayne (172.505mph) rounded out the top 10. Ryan Blaney (P11, 172.505mph) was the fastest rookie.

“Good job today, guys,” Blaney said following the 80-minute session. “Appreciate it.”

After just 16 laps, Kyle Larson picked up a Darlington stripe. Ditto Kyle Busch on his 23rd lap.

"If anything, it felt looser," Kyle Busch after slapping the wall. His best lap was 29th on the speed chart.

Greg Biffle’s 170.536mph was the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average. Biffle has two wins at the Lady in Black in 15 career starts.

Martin Truex Jr. (170.449mph), Johnson (170.429mph), Kasey Kahne (170.352mph) and Edwards (169.898mph) were the top five in the category followed by Jeff Gordon (169.806mph), Kyle Larson (169.559mph), Ryan Newman (169.371mph), Denny Hamlin (169.216mph) and Austin Dillon (169.215mph).

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 2  Brad Keselowski  Ford 51 28.157     174.649
2 41  Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 54 28.257 0.100 0.100 174.031
3 48  Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 74 28.259 0.102 0.002 174.019
4 5  Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 59 28.318 0.161 0.059 173.656
5 27  Paul Menard  Chevrolet 55 28.351 0.194 0.033 173.454
6 16  Greg Biffle  Ford 44 28.387 0.230 0.036 173.234
7 19  Carl Edwards  Toyota 44 28.454 0.297 0.067 172.826
8 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 44 28.477 0.320 0.023 172.687
9 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 20 28.497 0.340 0.020 172.566
10 6  Trevor Bayne  Ford 34 28.501 0.344 0.004 172.541

CLICK HERE for complete session results

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Darlington
Location Darlington Raceway
Drivers Brad Keselowski
Teams Team Penske
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report