Kyle Larson tops final practice for the Coca-Cola 600
Kyle Larson, who will start from the rear of the field in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, led the way in Saturday’s final practice session at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Larson posted the session’s fastest single-lap speed of 186.400 mph very early in the session, which was run under very warm conditions – very different from what drivers are likely to see tomorrow evening.
Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet took so long to clear pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday that Larson was unable to post a qualifying speed. He will start the race in 39th.
Ryan Blaney, who was fastest in Saturday’s first practice, ended up second-fastest in the final session. Matt Kenseth was third, Kurt Busch was fourth and rookie Erik Jones completed the top-five.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up with the seventh-fastest speed (184.433 mph) – his best performance in practice all weekend.
“I’m OK starting (the race) where we are,” Earnhardt told crew chief Greg Ives over his team radio after the session. “I am pretty happy with our speed and how the car was feeling to me.”
Ives replied, “We’ve come a long way from a week ago.”
Earnhardt struggled in last weekend’s All-Star Race and failed to advance to the 10-car, 10-lap shootout to determine the $1 million winner.
Just four minutes into the final session, Brad Keselowski spun off Turn 4 and made contact with the wall with the right-rear of his No. 2 Ford. He then turned down into the infield grass and also damaged his front splitter.
His Team Penske team was able to repair the mostly-cosmetic damage and returned to practice. He ended up 16th-fastest.
Jamie McMurray ended up fastest among the 25 drivers who completed at least 10 consecutive laps in Saturday's final session with an average lap speed of 180.914 mph. Kenseth was second-fastest, Chase Elliott third, Larson fourth and Jimmie Johnson fifth.
|7||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||32||29.279||0.309||0.055||184.433|
Ryan Blaney leads Saturday morning Cup practice
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|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|Teams||Chip Ganassi Racing|