Kurt Busch tops final Cup practice at Kansas

Kurt Busch was fastest in Saturday’s final practice session at Kansas Speedway, completing a Ford sweep of the weekend’s three practices and qualifying.

Kurt Busch tops final Cup practice at Kansas
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Busch, who led the most laps last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway before running out of gas in overtime, posted the fastest average lap speed (186.226 mph) early in the final 50-minute practice session.

Erik Jones was second (186.104 mph) and Aric Almirola was third (185.842 mph). Kyle Busch and Paul Menard completed the top-five.

“Kansas has been a good track as of late for us at Stewart-Haas and, for me, I think the outside groove is really going to come into play more so than it has in years past,” said Busch, who will start 11th on Sunday. “But … it’s going to be cold.

“When you have cool temperatures, that brings up the speed and it really pushes us back to the bottom groove because the bottom groove will have the speed in it. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 is shaping up to be another strong day for Ford.

Almirola was fastest in Saturday’s first practice, Ryan Blaney was fastest in Friday’s practice and fellow Ford driver Joey Logano won the pole during Friday’s qualifying.

Rounding out the Top speeds in final practice were Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr.

In all, Ford drivers claimed six of the top-10 final practice speeds.

Kyle Busch had the fastest average speed (183.094 mph) among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. Filling out the top-five in that category were Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Jones.

Chase Elliott and Matt DiBenedetto had to sit out the final 15 minutes of the session as their respective cars twice failed pre-qualifying inspection on Friday.

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 44 28.997     186.226
2 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 36 29.016 0.019 0.019 186.104
3 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 49 29.057 0.060 0.041 185.842
4 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 55 29.115 0.118 0.058 185.471
5 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 50 29.119 0.122 0.004 185.446
6 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 42 29.135 0.138 0.016 185.344
7 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 51 29.175 0.178 0.040 185.090
8 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 44 29.193 0.196 0.018 184.976
9 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 55 29.202 0.205 0.009 184.919
10 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 50 29.206 0.209 0.004 184.894
11 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 33 29.209 0.212 0.003 184.875
12 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 67 29.216 0.219 0.007 184.830
13 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 32 29.249 0.252 0.033 184.622
14 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 48 29.267 0.270 0.018 184.508
15 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 48 29.280 0.283 0.013 184.426
16 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 42 29.296 0.299 0.016 184.326
17 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 51 29.340 0.343 0.044 184.049
18 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 47 29.354 0.357 0.014 183.961
19 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 44 29.403 0.406 0.049 183.655
20 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 46 29.514 0.517 0.111 182.964
21 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 47 29.580 0.583 0.066 182.556
22 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 45 29.640 0.643 0.060 182.186
23 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 38 29.649 0.652 0.009 182.131
24 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 32 29.724 0.727 0.075 181.671
25 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 44 29.754 0.757 0.030 181.488
26 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 32 29.770 0.773 0.016 181.391
27 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 16 29.783 0.786 0.013 181.311
28 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 37 29.865 0.868 0.082 180.814
29 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 37 29.900 0.903 0.035 180.602
30 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 23 30.016 1.019 0.116 179.904
31 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 42 30.036 1.039 0.020 179.784
32 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 25 30.160 1.163 0.124 179.045
33 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 12 30.333 1.336 0.173 178.024
34 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 16 30.342 1.345 0.009 177.971
35 96 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 31 30.426 1.429 0.084 177.480
36 99 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 6 30.590 1.593 0.164 176.528
37 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 24 30.674 1.677 0.084 176.045
38 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 3 31.200 2.203 0.526 173.077
39 7 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 10 31.311 2.314 0.111 172.463

Take a virtual lap around Kansas Speedway, courtesy of NASCAR Heat 3.

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