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Practice report
NASCAR Cup North Wilkesboro

NASCAR All-Star Race: Ty Gibbs fastest in practice at North Wilkesboro

Ty Gibbs, who needs to win his way into the NASCAR All-Star Race main event, topped Friday’s practice session at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway.

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry

The practice on Friday included drivers already qualified for the All-Star Race main event as well as those who will run in the preliminary All-Star Open event on Sunday.

It was likely no surprise drivers who need to win their way into the main event were the fastest in the 50-minute session, led by Gibbs with an average lap speed of 124.001 in his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Last season, Gibbs finished second in the All-Star Open and transferred into the main event, where he finished ninth.

“We did a tire test for Goodyear a couple of months ago at North Wilkesboro,” Gibbs said. “We’ll see what happens, but I know Chris Gayle (crew chief) and the boys have brought me a good car.”

 

Reigning series champion Ryan Blaney was second quick at 123.789 mph and Christopher Bell was third (123.558 mph). Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Josh Berry, Corey LaJoie and Daniel Suarez.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Blaney had the fastest average lap speed at 122.021 mph. Hamlin and Elliott were second and third, respectively, in that category.

There are currently 17 drivers already locked into the main event: A.J. Allmendinger, Bell, Blaney, Chris Buescher, Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Elliott, Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Suárez and Martin Truex Jr.

Kevin Harvick subbed for Larson in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet during the practice as well as pit road practice. He ended up 25th fastest of the 37 cars to post a speed.

Larson was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking part in Indy 500 practice but will return for the All-Star Race main event on Sunday night.

Teams had three sets of regular and two sets of softer “option” tires for practice, qualifying and the heats/Open. All teams had to use regular tires in qualifying.

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