Kyle Busch paces final NASCAR Cup practice at Pocono
Kyle Busch, who earned the most recent Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway, led the way in Saturday’s final practice session.
Busch posted his fast lap (174.588 mph) on his first lap on the track in the 1 hour, 20-minute session. Busch starts fifth in Sunday’s Pocono 400.
“It’s certainly been pretty good last few races here at Pocono, being the defending winner of the fall race. You know, it certainly is pretty cool to come back here and try to do it again, especially after last week, and the momentum that we’ve kind of had on our side for the year, and especially from last week,” Busch said.
“Every week is a new week. Every week is different. We always just try to keep improving and continuing to build up our performance and keep it going for the rest of this regular season.”
Kevin Harvick was second-fastest (174.115 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. was third (173.953 mph). Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola both jumped to the fourth and fifth positions late in the session.
Completing the Top were Kyle Larson, pole-winner Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Jamie McMurray.
Midway through the session, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun off Turn 2 but kept his No. 17 Ford off the wall.
“We’ve been really loose, really all weekend. Yesterday, we were looking for handling and speed but I felt like we’ve closed the gap on the Top 10 on speed, now we’re just trying to find the handling,” he said.
“We’ve been a little bit loose, a little bit tight. I feel like I never really practice well here. At Pocono, we race a little better than we practice. We’ll see. We’re trying to get some more speed in it.”
Stenhouse ended up 19th fastest.
Three drivers had to sit out the final 15 minutes of practice – Cole Custer and Derrike Cope (late to qualifying inspection) and Daniel Suarez (failed qualifying inspection twice).
|3||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||30||51.738||0.188||0.048||173.953|
|19||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||26||52.173||0.623||0.003||172.503|
|23||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Chevrolet||24||52.450||0.900||0.087||171.592|
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