McMurray tops first NASCAR Cup practice at Kentucky

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McMurray tops first NASCAR Cup practice at Kentucky
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 7, 2017, 4:08 PM

Jamie McMurray showed a little muscle during first practice at Kentucky Speedway on Friday.

The driver of the No. 1 Ganassi Racing posted the fastest single-lap speed of 186.760mph after the first hour of the session.

“We have had really fast cars at all of the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so hopefully Kentucky Speedway will be no exception,” McMurray said. “I think this race came down to a fuel mileage race last year so it will be interesting to see how that turns out with the stages this year.

“We participated in a Goodyear test there a few weeks ago and I felt like we had a really good test. We will have a new right-side tire for this weekend, so I’m looking forward to having a solid weekend .”

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10 speeds. Elliott’s 66 laps were the most completed during practice.

Early in the session, Blaney topped the leader board with a lap of 185.427mph after a four-lap run. Multiple Kentucky Speedway race winner Kyle Busch was second (184.275mph) followed by Kevin Harvick (184.011mph), Kurt Busch, Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Truex Jr., Chris Buescher, Bowyer and Bubba Wallace.

Thirty cars had completed laps in the first 10 minutes. Austin Dillon jumped up to ninth 15 minutes in with a lap of 183.038mph following a nine lap run. He was bumped to 10th after the Furniture Row cars of Truex and Erik Jones moved up to first and fifth, respectively on the leader board.

Blaney returned to the top in his second four-lap run just before the 20-minute mark. Truex moved to second with Kyle Busch, Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Jones and Elliott rounding out the top 10.

Thirty minutes into the session, Truex vaulted back to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 186.445mph. Over the next 15 minutes, 37 drivers had posted times. Truex held the top spot with Blaney, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse, Larson, Jones, Daniel Suarez, Hamlin, McMurray and Harvick completing the top 10 speeds.

One hour into first practice, McMurray emerged with the top speed — 186.780mph.

“I’m having trouble getting turned in the entry of the (right) corner,” McMurray said.

Truex was bumped to second followed by Blaney, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Larson, Elliott, Jones, Stenhouse and Johnson.Larson bounced to fourth 10 minutes later after completing his 26th lap.

With 30 minutes remaining in the 115-minute session, McMurray held top spot followed by Truex, Blaney, Larson, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Bowyer, Elliott, Jones and Stenhouse.

Despite Bowyer riding seventh, he wasn’t happy with the handling after 36 laps.

“We have a lot of work to do somehow,” Bowyer said. “That’s no good.”

Kyle Busch’s 57 laps completed was the most with 15 minutes remaining in the session. Five minutes later, Bubba Wallace, Matt Kenseth and others were practicing pit road speed.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 47 28.911     186.780
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 44 28.963 0.052 0.052 186.445
3 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 51 29.017 0.106 0.054 186.098
4 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 38 29.023 0.112 0.006 186.059
5 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 65 29.042 0.131 0.019 185.938
6 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 58 29.066 0.155 0.024 185.784
7 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 33 29.080 0.169 0.014 185.695
8 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 42 29.084 0.173 0.004 185.669
9 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 66 29.096 0.185 0.012 185.593
10 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 53 29.121 0.210 0.025 185.433
11 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 46 29.127 0.216 0.006 185.395
12 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 44 29.147 0.236 0.020 185.268
13 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 37 29.205 0.294 0.058 184.900
14 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 47 29.230 0.319 0.025 184.742
15 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 42 29.239 0.328 0.009 184.685
16 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 40 29.273 0.362 0.034 184.470
17 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 56 29.275 0.364 0.002 184.458
18 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 36 29.326 0.415 0.051 184.137
19 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 52 29.355 0.444 0.029 183.955
20 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 41 29.388 0.477 0.033 183.748
21 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 49 29.397 0.486 0.009 183.692
22 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 30 29.401 0.490 0.004 183.667
23 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Ford 44 29.422 0.511 0.021 183.536
24 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 50 29.456 0.545 0.034 183.324
25 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 29 29.492 0.581 0.036 183.101
26 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 33 29.518 0.607 0.026 182.939
27 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 14 29.620 0.709 0.102 182.309
28 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 21 29.686 0.775 0.066 181.904
29 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 25 29.772 0.861 0.086 181.378
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 38 29.876 0.965 0.104 180.747
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 32 30.073 1.162 0.197 179.563
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 29 30.161 1.250 0.088 179.039
33 83 united_states Ryan Sieg  Toyota 15 30.466 1.555 0.305 177.247
34 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 19 30.737 1.826 0.271 175.684
35 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 20 30.751 1.840 0.014 175.604
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 43 30.911 2.000 0.160 174.695
37 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 16 30.976 2.065 0.065 174.329
38 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 17 30.994 2.083 0.018 174.227
39 23 united_states Joey Gase  Toyota 24 31.022 2.111 0.028 174.070
40 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 17 31.059 2.148 0.037 173.863
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Kentucky
Location Kentucky Speedway
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report