Keselowski leads Saturday morning Cup practice
Brad Keselowski brought the speed at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Keselowski, the last driver to win a race on a 1.5-mile repaved track when he was victorious at Kentucky Speedway last July, posted a fast lap of 196.143mph (27.531-seconds) to lead the second practice for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
“This track takes a lot of RPM and our engines run good with that,” Keselowski said.
Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five speeds.
Trevor Bayne set the quick pace early in practice but just before the 15-minute mark, Jimmie Johnson’s lap of 27.747-seconds (194.637mph) moved to the top of the chart.
NASCAR released Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne, who were held for 15-minutes due to inspection infractions. Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman bumped Bayne moments later.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. jumped to “P1" twenty minutes in with a lap of 195.051mph. After 16 circuits, Earnhardt described the new layout of the track as “weird”.
“I get down in 1 and 2 and I don’t have the banking to pick the right rear up,” Earnhardt said.
Rookie Ty Dillon was the leader 25 minutes into practice (27.545-sec, 196.043mph) followed Chase Elliott (27.574-sec), AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Kenseth, Bayne, Earnhardt, Johnson and Blaney.
“I had a bit of tire chatter,” Dillon said. “That definitely freed it up and made it better.”
With 25 minutes remaining in the 55-minute practice, the only changes in the top 10 were Logano vaulting up to third (27.641-sec.), Keselowski bumping Allmendinger and Michael McDowell moving up to ninth (27.729-sec.).
Larson topped the chart at the 35-minute mark posting a 27.538-second lap (196.093mph) after 18 laps. Moments later Keselowski leap-frogged into first with a 27.531-second lap (196.143mph).
Eight cars were on the track with 10 minutes remaining in practice. Keselowski retained the fastest speed followed by Larson, Ty Dillon, Elliott, Logano, Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Earnhardt and Kenseth.
Jamie McMurray’s 37 laps were the most completed in second practice.
|4||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||33||27.559||0.028||0.014||195.943|
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|Location||Texas Motor Speedway|