Larson leads final practice at Richmond
Single-lap speeds were deceiving in final practice at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday.
Kyle Larson was the first to roll off of pit road for Happy Hour and established the top speed of 119.074mph after completing 11 laps. However, he wasn’t thrilled with the feel of the car as temperatures rose and his tires gave out throughout the session.
Martin Truex Jr., (119.016mph) was second followed by Jimmie Johnson (118.801mph), Erik Jones (118.702mph) and Chase Elliott (118.452mph). Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, pole-sitter Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10 single-lap speeds.
Before the 10 minute mark, Kevin Harvick joined the pack. He completed a 24-lap run before returning to the garage.
The top 10 drivers remained the same halfway through the 55-minute session.
“Way worse, way looser,” Bowyer said 30 minutes in.
With less than 10 minutes in the session, Kurt Busch reported voltage issues, and issues with his cooling box.
Larson also completed the most laps in final practice — 84. The driver of the No. 42, who leads the Monster Energy Cup standings, wasn’t pleased with his 18th-place qualifying effort on Friday. Things didn’t appear to approve on Saturday.
“We struggled pretty bad there,” Larson said. “We were really, really loose in, extremely tight in the middle, and really loose off. We didn’t have a good balance at all there in qualifying. I’m not sure if the track changed a lot. They didn’t really change much on our car but it handled way different. So, I’m not really sure why we were so much slower and off on balance. We’ll have our work cut out for us on Sunday.”
Truex led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages category with a speed of 117.521mph followed by Hamlin (117.384mph), Larson (117.379mph), Kenseth (117.337mph) and Elliott (117.160mph).
Toyotas have won the last three races at RIR and Hamlin, who won here last fall, was extremely pleased with the No. 11 car.
“We just have to fine-tune a few things to be the fastest car, but pretty good overall,” Hamlin said. “That was a good final practice for us.”
Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Bowyer and McMurray rounded out the top 10 in Best Consecutive Lap Averages.
|2||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||50||22.686||0.011||0.011||119.016|
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About this article
|Location||Richmond International Raceway|
|Teams||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Article type||Practice report|