Kyle Busch tops final Cup practice at Pocono

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Kyle Busch tops final Cup practice at Pocono
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 29, 2017, 4:30 PM

Kyle Busch waited to the final minutes of Happy Hour before posting the fastest-single lap run amongst 38 Monster Energy Cup Series competitors at Pocono Raceway on Saturday.

Busch posted a speed of 176.824mph (50.898-seconds) making a qualifying run as the final practice session closed out.

Kyle Larson was second quick followed by Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Kevin Harvick.

Busch is still searching for his first win of 2017 — and his first win at Pocono Raceway, one of two tracks on the Cup tour where he has yet to pick up a points win.

Jamie McMurray (173.447mph) led the 55-minute session in the opening stages before Hamlin (175.415mph) topped the No. 1 Chevy after his first lap — eight minutes in. Busch moved up to second with a lap of 175.370mph.

After the first 10 minutes, Hamlin remained fastest followed by Busch, McMurray, Blaney and Johnson.

Chase Elliott climbed up to third after six laps before the 15-minute mark. McMurray dropped to fourth with Blaney, Johnson, Kenseth, Bowyer, Jones and Kahne rounding out the top 10. Kevin Harvick posted the 11th-fastest single lap speed with Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completing the top 15.

Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones, who received 15-minute practice holds for their teams failing pre-race inspection twice at Indy, were released for practice. 

Kyle Busch Busch closed in on Hamlin with a lap of 175.370mph for second on the speed chart over the next five minutes. Elliott (173.705mph) held onto third followed by McMurray and Blaney.

Just past halfway, McMurray bumped Hamlin with a lap of 175.558mph in qualifying trim.

“It feels like there’s no wedge in the car,” Hamlin told his crew. “No stability. I’m loose everywhere and it’s getting tighter and tighter and tighter out of Turn 3.”

Martin Truex Jr. served his 30-minute practice hold for the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing failing pre-race inspection three times at the Brickyard.

Kyle Busch remained second followed by Truex, Elliott, Johnson, Blaney, Larson, Kenseth and Bowyer.

With 10 minutes to go in Happy Hour, McMurray held on to the top spot. Six minutes later, his Ganassi Racing teammate Larson knocked him off with a lap of 175.908mph. Hamlin held on to third. In the final moment, Kyle Busch vaulted to the top of the chart.

“I think we have an okay car in qualifying," Larson said. "Race trim, I think we are off quite a bit, especially on lap time. Then the overall feel of the car is not very good either. I’m fighting pretty much everything out there throughout the lap. Just really hard to drive, really inconsistent. It’s really easy to make a mistake.  Not a lot of fun to drive, but hopefully, we can get it better and get some more grip in our car.  Just kind of off all day, of the last couple of weeks.  So, if we can just keep fighting hard and find that balance we need we should be fast.” 

 

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 20 50.898     176.824
2 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 19 51.163 0.265 0.265 175.908
3 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 15 51.239 0.341 0.076 175.647
4 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 18 51.307 0.409 0.068 175.415
5 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 19 51.352 0.454 0.045 175.261
6 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 15 51.405 0.507 0.053 175.080
7 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 9 51.422 0.524 0.017 175.022
8 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 23 51.576 0.678 0.154 174.500
9 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 20 51.586 0.688 0.010 174.466
10 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 20 51.622 0.724 0.036 174.344
11 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 14 51.725 0.827 0.103 173.997
12 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 23 51.735 0.837 0.010 173.963
13 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 17 51.744 0.846 0.009 173.933
14 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 17 51.863 0.965 0.119 173.534
15 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 12 51.914 1.016 0.051 173.364
16 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 15 51.915 1.017 0.001 173.360
17 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 19 51.919 1.021 0.004 173.347
18 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 22 51.924 1.026 0.005 173.330
19 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 10 51.929 1.031 0.005 173.314
20 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 21 51.930 1.032 0.001 173.310
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 15 52.017 1.119 0.087 173.020
22 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 11 52.020 1.122 0.003 173.010
23 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 14 52.098 1.200 0.078 172.751
24 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 20 52.103 1.205 0.005 172.735
25 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 14 52.166 1.268 0.063 172.526
26 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 10 52.287 1.389 0.121 172.127
27 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 16 52.469 1.571 0.182 171.530
28 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 15 52.528 1.630 0.059 171.337
29 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 15 52.579 1.681 0.051 171.171
30 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 11 52.701 1.803 0.122 170.775
31 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 15 52.969 2.071 0.268 169.911
32 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 23 52.974 2.076 0.005 169.895
33 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 15 53.060 2.162 0.086 169.619
34 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 10 53.590 2.692 0.530 167.942
35 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 16 53.732 2.834 0.142 167.498
36 15 united_states Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 6 54.026 3.128 0.294 166.586
37 55 united_states Derrike Cope  Toyota 4 55.033 4.135 1.007 163.538
38 83 Stephen Leicht  Toyota 10 55.201 4.303 0.168 163.041
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Pocono II
Location Pocono Raceway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report