Kevin Harvick fastest in Friday's lone Cup practice at Fontana

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Kevin Harvick fastest in Friday's lone Cup practice at Fontana
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Mar 16, 2018, 7:38 PM

If Kevin Harvick is going to win his fourth consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, he’s off to a good start.

Harvick rocketed to the top of the leaderboard early in Friday’s lone 50-minute practice session with an average lap speed of 189.066 mph, which would set a track record if it took place in qualifying.

“I think as you look at the schedule for us, I think this is one that we’ve all had circled since I’ve been at SHR as a track that we hadn’t won at, that we felt like we’ve run well enough to win at,” Harvick said Friday at Auto Club Speedway.

“For me personally, it’s obviously close to home and I crashed coming to the green flag last year, so there’s got to be a little bit of redemption somewhere along the line to pick yourself back up and recover from that.”

Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola, were second and third-fastest, respectively. Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman.

Nearly 19 minutes into the session, Daniel Suarez slammed into the Turn 2 wall, doing significant damage to the right-rear area of his No. 19 Toyota. He had completed just two laps on the track.

The team immediately went to work to get the backup car prepared. The change will mean Suarez will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field regardless of where he qualifies later Friday.

“When I hit a seam (on the track), it stepped out on me and I couldn’t do anything,” Suarez said.

Reed Sorenson was forced to sit out 15 minutes of Friday’s practice after his team failed pre-race inspection twice at Las Vegas (the most recent race in which the team completed).

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 3 38.082     189.066
2 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 4 38.255 0.173 0.173 188.211
3 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 5 38.311 0.229 0.056 187.936
4 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 6 38.339 0.257 0.028 187.798
5 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 8 38.350 0.268 0.011 187.744
6 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 14 38.437 0.355 0.087 187.320
7 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 5 38.438 0.356 0.001 187.315
8 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 5 38.474 0.392 0.036 187.139
9 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 6 38.496 0.414 0.022 187.032
10 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 9 38.551 0.469 0.055 186.766
11 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 5 38.557 0.475 0.006 186.737
12 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 5 38.566 0.484 0.009 186.693
13 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 5 38.569 0.487 0.003 186.678
14 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 7 38.616 0.534 0.047 186.451
15 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 5 38.630 0.548 0.014 186.384
16 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 6 38.642 0.560 0.012 186.326
17 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 10 38.732 0.650 0.090 185.893
18 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 7 38.743 0.661 0.011 185.840
19 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 5 38.800 0.718 0.057 185.567
20 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 5 38.840 0.758 0.040 185.376
21 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 2 38.847 0.765 0.007 185.342
22 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 9 38.877 0.795 0.030 185.199
23 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 5 38.900 0.818 0.023 185.090
24 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 7 38.915 0.833 0.015 185.019
25 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 13 38.921 0.839 0.006 184.990
26 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 8 38.924 0.842 0.003 184.976
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 4 39.073 0.991 0.149 184.270
28 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 4 39.110 1.028 0.037 184.096
29 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 3 39.229 1.147 0.119 183.538
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 17 39.269 1.187 0.040 183.351
31 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 5 39.711 1.629 0.442 181.310
32 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 5 40.269 2.187 0.558 178.798
33 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 4 40.716 2.634 0.447 176.835
34 00 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 14 41.163 3.081 0.447 174.914
35 51 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 7 41.277 3.195 0.114 174.431
36 55 united_states Reed Sorenson    1 42.197 4.115 0.920 170.628
37 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota   0.000     0.000

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Fontana
Location Auto Club Speedway
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report