Larson tops first Pocono practice as Dale Jr. encounters engine issues
Kyle Larson topped first practice at Pocono Raceway.
Larson established a fast lap of 177.312 on his 11th — and final lap in the session.
Kyle Busch was second followed by Matt Kenseth and the Fords of Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney. Chevy drivers Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10 speeds.
Keselowski posted the quick lap early — 173.789mph. In the first 10 minutes, Larson was second 173.772mph followed by Kenseth (173.174mph), Ryan Newman (173.047mph), Denny Hamlin (173.007mph), Harvick (172.572mph), Clint Bowyer (172.483mph), McMurray (172.232mph), Kurt Busch (172.199mph) and AJ Allmendinger 9172.150mph).
Thirty drivers had posted times when NASCAR called a caution 13 minutes into the session for debris in Turn 1.
Just before the 25-minute mark, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had engine issues. He had completed eight laps and was 19th on the speed chart with a lap of 171.344mph. Earnhardt over-revving the engine resulted in the team needing to replace the engine. He will start from the rear on Sunday.
Thirty minutes into the 85-minute session, Keselowski continued to lead the top spot followed by Larson, Harvick (173.541mph), Kyle Busch (173.491mph), Ryan Blaney (173.404mph), Newman (173.397mph), Kenseth, Hamlin, McMurray and Bowyer.
Kyle Busch topped the speed chart 38-minutes into practice with a lap of 175.682mph on his third lap. Last weekend’s winner Jimmie Johnson moved into second with a lap of 174.338mph.
At the 50-minute mark, Larson popped up to the top of the board with a Q-run of 175.926mph.
“I probably gave up half a second in Turn 3,” Larson told the crew after posting the lap.
Kyle Busch remained second, Kenseth moved up to third (175.305mph) with McMurray (175.159mph) and Johnson rounding out the top-five speeds.
With 15 minutes remaining, Joey Logano jumped up to P1 with a speed of 176.564mph on his 13th lap. Larson, Kyle Busch, Kenseth and McMurray rounded out the top-five laps.
Kyle Busch took over the top spot with a lap of 177.235mph with just over 10 minutes left in practice. Harvick also leapt over Logano and Larson with a lap of 176.588mph. Kenseth (176.939mph) moved up to second with nine minutes to go.
But with seven minutes left in practice, Larson regained the top spot with a lap of 177.312mph.
Bubba Wallace made his first laps in a Cup car at Pocono Raceway on Friday. Wallace completed 21 laps. His team remarked after practice that his “preparation paid off.”
“I’m jacked up right now,” Wallace said. “Our Smithfield Fusion is ok, a little tight…It didn’t feel too much different. I’m just having fun.”
Trevor Bayne’s 22 laps were the most completed in the session.
|12||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||7||51.420||0.662||0.023||175.029|
|19||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Ford||21||51.684||0.926||0.003||174.135|
|28||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||11||52.349||1.591||0.230||171.923|
|29||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||8||52.526||1.768||0.177||171.344|
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