Kyle Larson tops final Cup practice at Richmond

Kyle Larson may not think Richmond (Va.) Raceway is one of his better tracks but his performance of late speaks volumes.

Larson, who earned his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory at the track last fall, was fastest in Friday’s final practice session prior to Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400.

Larson posted an average lap speed of 120.315 mph with just over 10 minutes left in this 50-minute session. He was also second-fastest in Friday’s first session.

Darrell Wallace Jr. was second-fastest (119.952 mph) and Jamie McMurray came in third (119.904 mph). Clint Bowyer was fourth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top-five.

“Typically this hasn’t been a good race track for me, but for whatever reason, the last time we were here we were about a top 3 car all race long,” Larson said Friday. “(Martin) Truex was really fast. But, I was a little bit lucky there at the end with a caution to beat him off pit road and get the win.

“I think that adds a little bit of confidence coming back here; but at the same time, I’ve struggled here in the past. I don’t know if I’ll be as good as I was last time, but I hope so.”

Rounding out the Top 10 in practice were Daniel Hemric, who is making his series debut this weekend; Alex Bowman; Denny Hamlin; Austin Dillon and A.J. Allmendinger.

Hamlin, typically one of the top performers at Richmond, struggled greatly in the first practice and made numerous changes to his No. 11 Toyota before getting on the track in the second practice.

“Whatever it is, it’s a major, major issue that’s not showing up in simulation. We’re trying to put parts and pieces in from our other teammates,” Hamlin said before making his first laps in the second practice.

“I’m not sure we can get our car fix today so it may be a shot in the dark for tomorrow.”

Hamlin ended up completing 39 laps in the session and he was much more pleased with the result, but still believed the team had more work to do.

There are no other practices scheduled before Saturday night’s race, just a qualifying session later Friday afternoon.

Larson was also fastest among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps in the final session, with an average lap speed of 119.110 mph. Hamlin was second fastest among that group and Martin Truex Jr. was third.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 54 22.441     120.315
2 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 34 22.509 0.068 0.068 119.952
3 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 11 22.518 0.077 0.009 119.904
4 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 29 22.518 0.077 0.000 119.904
5 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 31 22.520 0.079 0.002 119.893
6 8 united_states Daniel Hemric    24 22.527 0.086 0.007 119.856
7 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 11 22.554 0.113 0.027 119.713
8 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 39 22.559 0.118 0.005 119.686
9 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 39 22.567 0.126 0.008 119.644
10 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 29 22.575 0.134 0.008 119.601
11 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 16 22.582 0.141 0.007 119.564
12 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 28 22.582 0.141 0.000 119.564
13 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 41 22.591 0.150 0.009 119.517
14 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 58 22.596 0.155 0.005 119.490
15 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 65 22.602 0.161 0.006 119.458
16 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 30 22.605 0.164 0.003 119.443
17 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 36 22.620 0.179 0.015 119.363
18 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 48 22.634 0.193 0.014 119.290
19 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 36 22.648 0.207 0.014 119.216
20 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 58 22.649 0.208 0.001 119.211
21 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 58 22.666 0.225 0.017 119.121
22 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 46 22.670 0.229 0.004 119.100
23 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 23 22.683 0.242 0.013 119.032
24 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 59 22.687 0.246 0.004 119.011
25 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 69 22.689 0.248 0.002 119.000
26 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 30 22.689 0.248 0.000 119.000
27 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 59 22.716 0.275 0.027 118.859
28 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 29 22.716 0.275 0.000 118.859
29 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 56 22.725 0.284 0.009 118.812
30 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 41 22.780 0.339 0.055 118.525
31 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 33 22.835 0.394 0.055 118.240
32 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 35 22.871 0.430 0.036 118.053
33 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 30 22.914 0.473 0.043 117.832
34 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 25 23.029 0.588 0.115 117.243
35 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 24 23.083 0.642 0.054 116.969
36 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 26 23.348 0.907 0.265 115.642
37 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 34 23.437 0.996 0.089 115.202
38 51 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 35 23.471 1.030 0.034 115.036

 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Richmond
Track Richmond International Raceway
Drivers Kyle Larson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Article type Practice report