Kyle Busch leads first Bristol practice
Kyle Busch led the first practice at Bristol Motor Speedway — which doesn’t bode well for the competition.
Busch preferred the lower lane as he posted a quick lap of 128.969mph (14.878sec). His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin (128.649mph) was second followed by Kyle Larson (128.597mph), Chase Elliott (128.511mph) and Aric Almirola (128.503mph).
Brad Keselowski (128.468mph), Ryan Blaney (128.451mph), Austin Dillon (128.356mph), Martin Truex Jr. (128.339mph) and Carl Edwards (128.193mph) rounded out the top 10 in single lap runs.
“I don’t think anyone knows where the fast groove is going to be,” Edwards said. “It moved around a lot in practice.”
With five wins at Thunder Valley, Busch shares the record for most victories among current drivers with Jeff Gordon. But at the end of the 80-minute session, Gordon, who is subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. acknowledged, “We’re really struggling on the bottom after running a couple of laps.”
That wasn’t the case for Busch who enjoys how the half-mile, high-banked track tests a driver’s abilities.
“I think the most challenging aspect of Bristol is just how difficult it is to transition through from the straightaways to the corners, back to the straightaways, and have your car set up in order to do all that,” Busch said.
“Sometimes you can be really loose getting in, or you can be really tight in the middle – you just seem to never be able to get a good-flowing car that works well there. Drivers have to do a lot of manipulation on the racetrack with their car in order to try to make the best of it.”
Hamlin, whose 99 laps were the most completed, was also fastest in the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages with a speed of 126.740mph. Blaney (126.485mph), Keselowski (126.219mph), AJ Allmendinger (126.207mph) and Kevin Harvick (126.191mph) rounded out the top five. Almirola (126.128mph), Edwards (126.016mph), Dillon (125.907mph), Elliott (125.692mph) and Jamie McMurray (125.665mph) completed the category.
|9||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||40||14.951||0.073||0.002||128.339|
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|Location||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|Teams||Joe Gibbs Racing|