Kyle Busch leads final practice at Indianapolis
Kyle Busch set the fastest single lap run in Happy Hour at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday.
With less than 15 minutes remaining, Busch, the defending Brickyard 400 winner posted the fastest lap — 184.619 mph after 30 laps.
“Let’s rerun it and see what happens,” Busch told the crew before making another run at his mark.
Despite the sun popping out of the clouds, Kevin Harvick jumped to second on the board in the final five minutes of the session.
“That was all on you guys,” said Harvick after running 184.268 mph on his last of 16 laps. “Thanks for changing things so quick.”
Kyle Larson, who has the best average finish of current drivers (eighth) was third quick (183.767 mph) and told his crew the car felt competitive. Ryan Newman was fourth (183.673 mph) followed by Carl Edwards (183.554 mph), Austin Dillon (183.494 mph), Jimmie Johnson (183.143 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (183.012 mph) and Danica Patrick (182.912 mph).
Denny Hamlin led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average with a speed of 177.938 mph. The No. 11 Toyota also logged the most laps — 57. Kyle Busch was second with a speed of 177.709 mph, followed by rookie Chase Elliott (177.016 mph) and his Hendrick teammates Johnson (177.008 mph) and Kasey Kahne (176.814 mph).
Tony Stewart, who has won twice at the 2.5-mile track and is making his final start here, was sixth (176.664 mph).
“It started shaking two laps ago and got worse each lap,” Stewart said after 10 laps. While he wasn’t happy with first practice, the driver of the No. 14 Chevy acknowledged the car was “getting better” during the second session.
Austin Dillon (176.235 mph) was seventh with the Fords of rookie Ryan Blaney (176.126 mph), Joey Logano (175.597 mph) and Chris Buescher (174.214 mph) rounding out the top 10.
Greg Biffle set the fast pace early in final practice with a single-lap run of 181.859 mph during his first run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The speed held up for the first hour. Biffle is coming off of his first top-five finish of the season at Loudon, but was practicing with a heavy heart following the loss of his father Jack Biffle, who passed away on Tuesday.
On his second run, Biffle was 9mph slower and radioed to the crew, “I lost all my grip for some reason.” He ended up 15th.
Jeff Gordon, who is filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., made five runs and completed 32 laps. He was 25th in single lap runs but did not post a Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average.
"When you get to drive a race car like this it certainly just helps you focus on what you need to do out there. Being out of the car that long and not really having a lot of experience with this package it was a tall task, I will be honest. It was one of the most challenging days I’ve had in a race car to try to get comfortable, be consistent, have the speed and give good feedback. I mean I still love this track and I’m glad that we are doing this this weekend because I think that helps me have the confidence to be able to learn faster, but it’s tough. It was tough. That first run I was like ‘wow’ I forgot how hard of work this is.”
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