Matt Kenseth leads opening Cup practice from Pocono
Matt Kenseth posted the fastest single-lap speed in first practice at Pocono Raceway.
Kenseth’s lap of 176.077mph (51.114-seconds) came after 12 circuits. Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top 10 in the first session on Saturday.
Kyle Busch, who is still looking for his first win at the Tricky Triangle, showed he has the speed to accomplish the task when he set the early pace in first practice with a lap of 175.360mph (51.323-seconds) after his first three circuits. Pocono is one of just two tracks on the Monster Energy Cup Series where the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has yet to win, the other is Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Fords of Blaney and Kevin Harvick ran second and third followed by Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Newman, Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Larson.
Newman moved up to second-quick after five laps with a speed of 174.277mph (51.642-seconds). Before the 20-minute mark, Clint Bowyer (173.960mph) jumped up to third after his first three-lap run but his Stewart-Haas teammate Harvick passed him with a lap of 174.034mph. In Kurt Busch’s second run, he moved from 11th to seventh (173.481mph).
At the 30-minute mark, Busch’s lap held up at the top. Blaney (174.527mph) moved back to second followed by Newman, Harvick, Bowyer, McMurray, Truex (173.718mph), Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Logano.
Thirty-three minutes into the session, Stephen Leicht spun out exiting Turn 1 before completing his first lap in the No. 83 BKRacing Toyota. His last start in a Cup car came at Phoenix Raceway in 2012.
Denny Hamlin, who had posted the 16th-fastest single-lap speed after three laps, developed a brake issue and had to return to the garage to change a warped rotor. Hamlin returned to the track with seven minutes left in the 55-minute session.
With 15 minutes remaining, Kyle Busch held on to the top spot followed by Blaney, Truex, Newman, Harvick, Bowyer, McMurray, Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Logano.
Kenseth (176.077mph) vaulted over Busch with 10 minutes left in practice. Larson followed with the second quick speed of 175.957mph. Busch held on to the third lap with Buescher, Suarez, Blaney, Truex, Newman and Harvick rounding out the top 10. In the last minutes, Jones posted the third fastest single-lap speed of 174.415mph.
Three drivers posted 10 Best Consecutive Averages. McMurray led the category with a speed of 172.280mph, followed by Newman (171.884mph) and Bowyer (171.418mph).
|1||20|| Matt Kenseth ||Toyota||12||51.114||176.077|
|2||42|| Kyle Larson ||Chevrolet||12||51.149||0.035||0.035||175.957|
|3||77|| Erik Jones ||Toyota||14||51.307||0.193||0.158||175.415|
|4||18|| Kyle Busch ||Toyota||13||51.323||0.209||0.016||175.360|
|5||37|| Chris Buescher ||Chevrolet||14||51.495||0.381||0.172||174.774|
|6||19|| Daniel Suarez ||Toyota||9||51.547||0.433||0.052||174.598|
|7||78|| Martin Truex Jr. ||Toyota||13||51.554||0.440||0.007||174.574|
|8||21|| Ryan Blaney ||Ford||13||51.568||0.454||0.014||174.527|
|9||31|| Ryan Newman ||Chevrolet||21||51.642||0.528||0.074||174.277|
|10||17|| Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ||Ford||14||51.700||0.586||0.058||174.081|
|11||4|| Kevin Harvick ||Ford||16||51.714||0.600||0.014||174.034|
|12||6|| Trevor Bayne ||Ford||13||51.727||0.613||0.013||173.990|
|13||14|| Clint Bowyer ||Ford||19||51.736||0.622||0.009||173.960|
|14||1|| Jamie McMurray ||Chevrolet||18||51.746||0.632||0.010||173.926|
|15||11|| Denny Hamlin ||Toyota||10||51.834||0.720||0.088||173.631|
|16||48|| Jimmie Johnson ||Chevrolet||22||51.845||0.731||0.011||173.594|
|17||41|| Kurt Busch ||Ford||16||51.879||0.765||0.034||173.481|
|18||22|| Joey Logano ||Ford||13||51.894||0.780||0.015||173.430|
|19||2|| Brad Keselowski ||Ford||11||51.952||0.838||0.058||173.237|
|20||24|| Chase Elliott ||Chevrolet||27||52.017||0.903||0.065||173.020|
|21||88|| Dale Earnhardt Jr. ||Chevrolet||17||52.047||0.933||0.030||172.921|
|22||5|| Kasey Kahne ||Chevrolet||18||52.050||0.936||0.003||172.911|
|23||47|| A.J. Allmendinger ||Chevrolet||11||52.313||1.199||0.263||172.041|
|24||10|| Danica Patrick ||Ford||19||52.424||1.310||0.111||171.677|
|25||3|| Austin Dillon ||Chevrolet||14||52.469||1.355||0.045||171.530|
|26||27|| Paul Menard ||Chevrolet||11||52.508||1.394||0.039||171.402|
|27||95|| Michael McDowell ||Chevrolet||9||52.716||1.602||0.208||170.726|
|28||13|| Ty Dillon ||Chevrolet||10||52.844||1.730||0.128||170.313|
|29||43|| Aric Almirola ||Ford||15||52.884||1.770||0.040||170.184|
|30||32|| Matt DiBenedetto ||Ford||12||53.038||1.924||0.154||169.690|
|31||38|| David Ragan ||Ford||17||53.145||2.031||0.107||169.348|
|32||34|| Landon Cassill ||Ford||7||53.249||2.135||0.104||169.017|
|33||23|| Corey Lajoie ||Toyota||10||53.708||2.594||0.459||167.573|
|34||72|| Cole Whitt ||Chevrolet||8||54.136||3.022||0.428||166.248|
|35||15|| Gray Gaulding ||Chevrolet||8||54.370||3.256||0.234||165.532|
|36||33|| Jeffrey Earnhardt ||Chevrolet||12||54.495||3.381||0.125||165.153|
|37||83||Stephen Leicht ||Toyota||4||55.237||4.123||0.742||162.934|
|38||55|| Derrike Cope ||Toyota||4||55.241||4.127||0.004||162.922|
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Kyle Busch tops final Cup practice at Pocono
About this article
|Teams||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Article type||Practice report|