Martin Truex Jr. tops opening Cup practice at Watkins Glen

Martin Truex Jr. tops opening Cup practice at Watkins Glen
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Aug 5, 2016, 6:18 PM

Martin Truex Jr. set the quick pace at Watkins Glen International on Friday with a lap of 126.883mph.

One day after announcing an extension with Furniture Row Racing, Truex showed the decision to stay the course in the No. 78 Toyota was the right move.

"This Denver Mattress Toyota has some good speed in it," Truex said. "All in all, it's going well.”

Truex, who won at Sonoma Raceway in 2013, is still looking for his first win at The Glen where he’s completed every lap in 10 starts and earned three top fives and five top 10s.

The Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch jumped atop the speed chart in the closing stages of first practice.

Just before the 80-minute mark, Hamlin posted a speed of 126.343mph in his 23rd lap, outshining the runs of Edwards (125.654mph) and Busch (125.643mph). But Casey Mears, the top Chevy in the  85-minute session, vaulted to third in the closing minutes with a speed of 125.896mph.

Joey Logano was the early leader in single lap speeds, however, the driver’s lap of 125.469mph held up for sixth-quick.

His Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, who tested here last week but suffered a huge crash at Turn 1 after brake failure, was seventh (125.266mph) followed by 2014 Cheez-It 355 winner AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch (125.041mph) and Kyle Larson (124.927mph).

"We're not going a lot faster like we thought we would,” Logano said of the new pavement on the track.

Only three drivers posted Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages. Keselowski led the category with a speed of 124.233mph, followed by Edwards (124.194mph) and rookie Ryan Blaney (123.401mph).

Ten minutes into the session, the brake line failed on the No. 10 Chevy piloted by Danica Patrick. She had completed five laps with a top speed of 121.240 mph, but as it occurred at the Bus Stop chicane she avoided hitting the wall.

Ten minutes before the end of practice, Clint Bowyer radioed to his crew “brake problems”.

He tweeted following the session, “Accidentally had the wrong brake pads in rear. They're changing them and hopefully we'll have a better 2nd practice.”

1 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 13 1'9.513     126.883
2 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 24 1'9.810 0.297 0.297 126.343
3 13  Casey Mears  Chevrolet 18 1'10.058 0.545 0.248 125.896
4 19  Carl Edwards  Toyota 32 1'10.193 0.680 0.135 125.654
5 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 21 1'10.199 0.686 0.006 125.643
6 22  Joey Logano  Ford 14 1'10.296 0.783 0.097 125.469
7 2  Brad Keselowski  Ford 29 1'10.410 0.897 0.114 125.266
8 47  A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 25 1'10.505 0.992 0.095 125.098
9 41  Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 27 1'10.537 1.024 0.032 125.041
10 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 18 1'10.601 1.088 0.064 124.927

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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