Kyle Busch tops final practice at Bristol after close call

Kyle Busch topped both Monster Energy Cup practices at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Kyle Busch tops final practice at Bristol after close call
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota helmet
Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

He led Happy Hour with a lap of 128.563mph followed by Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“Every time we come here it seems like there’s something changing,” Busch said. “With the bottom grip strip let’s call it, it certainly makes for a unique race track – more unique than it was already and when they first re-concreted this race track and did a new layout to it, more of a bowl-type to where you can run all over the race track, I was a huge fan of that – that you could race and race cleanly and not have to knock people out of the way and you could run three wide through the corners or two wide most all the way around the race track.

“Now that they have the bottom groove going back again, that seems to open it again for the bottom and the top and you can run two lanes and you can have the lanes be more equal to one another rather than the top just being so much faster and having to run up there. Having options here is great for drivers, but having to follow each other in a single file line, that’s not fun for drivers.”

In the first two minutes, Chris Buescher slapped the rear-right of his car coming off of Turn 4.

Kyle Busch was leading the session at the time with a speed of 128.091mph and narrowly avoided the sideways machine of Buescher. He had completed seven laps. Martin Truex Jr. was second (127.946mph) followed by Chase Elliott (127.937mph), Kurt Busch (127.784mph) and Matt Kenseth (127.360mph). Twenty cars had completed laps as the race returned to green — just five minutes in.

Daniel Suarez was the next driver to take the top spot just before the six-minute mark. Clint Bowyer followed. Busch remained third followed by Kevin Harvick and Truex.

Busch leapfrogged over Suarez and held the top spot through the first 15 minutes. Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson held the top-five speeds. Bowyer, Harvick, Truex, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch rounded out the top 10.

The top 10 remained the same 30-minutes. Johnson’s 77 laps were the most completed at the half-way mark.

After 36 minutes, rain began to full on the half-mile track to bring out the second caution. But drivers returned to the track with 15 minutes remaining.

Kahne led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average category with a speed of 127.482mph followed by Bowyer (127.264mph), Joey Logano (127.253mph), Kyle Busch (127.156mph) and Jones (127.142mph). Suarez, Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Paul Menard and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 67 14.925     128.563
2 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 79 14.960 0.035 0.035 128.262
3 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 77 14.961 0.036 0.001 128.253
4 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 75 14.969 0.044 0.008 128.185
5 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 77 14.971 0.046 0.002 128.168
6 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 57 14.971 0.046 0.000 128.168
7 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 50 14.976 0.051 0.005 128.125
8 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 33 14.993 0.068 0.017 127.980
9 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 51 14.997 0.072 0.004 127.946
10 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 81 15.014 0.089 0.017 127.801

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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Kyle Busch fastest in Saturday's first Cup practice
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