Ryan Blaney leads opening Michigan Cup practice at 203.591mph

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Ryan Blaney leads opening Michigan Cup practice at 203.591mph
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Aug 11, 2017, 5:08 PM

Ryan Blaney posted the fastest single-lap speed in opening practice for the Pure Michigan 400 on Friday.

Blaney completed 14 laps with a top speed of 203.591mph. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10 laps.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is still searching for his first win of 2017, completed the most laps — 27. He has two wins at Michigan — most recently in 2012.

“It’s been a struggle, but we have faced worse seasons,” Earnhardt said. “We can’t wait to be back to work at Michigan. It’s typically a really good track for us.”

Blaney set the quick pace in the first five minute of first practice with a lap of 196.469mph after four laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second (195.101mph) following an eight-lap run. Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Landon Cassill and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10.

Two-time Michigan winner Kyle Larson vaulted to second after his first run but was bumped to fourth after Denny Hamlin shot to the top of the chart with a lap of 198.243mph in his first lap and Joey Logano posted the third fastest lap (195.647mph). Larson came back just before the 10-minute mark with a lap of 196.910mph to move to second-quick.

Brad Keselowski’s first lap of 197.737mph was the second-best lap after 10 minutes in the 85-minute session followed by Larson, Blaney, Logano, Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr.

After 15 minutes in practice, Blaney shot back up to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 198.697mph. Moments later, Kyle Busch completed his first lap of 198.703mph to take the top spot.

Keselowski was the first driver to break the 200-mile-per-hour mark in Q-trim with a lap of 201.387mph approaching the 30-minute mark. Five minutes later, Kyle Busch climbed up to P1 with a lap of 202.327mph in his third lap. Erik Jones was third followed by Truex, Blaney, Larson, Hamlin, Elliott, Bowyer and Logano.

Matt Kenseth’s first run in qualifying trim was 200.222mph — third on the board. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez ran eighth after eight laps. Forty-three minutes in, Hamlin bounced up to second (201.523mph) followed by Keselowski, Truex, Kenseth, Jones, Blaney, Larson, Suarez and Elliott.

With 35-minutes remaining in first practice, Blaney regained P1 with a lap of 202.452mph. After the first hour, Blaney’s lap held on with Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Keselowski, Truex, Larson, Bowyer, Kenseth, Jones and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top 10.

Harvick jumped up to seventh with 15 minutes to go. McMurray, Logano and Jones rounded out the top 10. Truex improved to third (201.856mph).

At the 75-minute mark, Kyle Busch bounced off the wall coming off of Turn 2 and damaged the right side of the No. 18 Toyota. He was second on the speed chart. Hamlin was third with Truex and Keselowski rounding out the top-five.

Click on image to watch Busch make contact with the wall in practice:

 

Camping World Truck Series points leader Christopher Bell is standing by for Hamlin, who remains on baby watch. His long-time girlfriend Jordan Fish is expecting their second child this week.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 14 35.365     203.591
2 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 6 35.586 0.221 0.221 202.327
3 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 7 35.655 0.290 0.069 201.935
4 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 11 35.669 0.304 0.014 201.856
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 9 35.678 0.313 0.009 201.805
6 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 17 35.719 0.354 0.041 201.573
7 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 17 35.732 0.367 0.013 201.500
8 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 14 35.733 0.368 0.001 201.494
9 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 22 35.736 0.371 0.003 201.478
10 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 20 35.764 0.399 0.028 201.320
11 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 15 35.795 0.430 0.031 201.145
12 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 9 35.873 0.508 0.078 200.708
13 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 7 35.960 0.595 0.087 200.222
14 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 17 35.989 0.624 0.029 200.061
15 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 8 36.046 0.681 0.057 199.745
16 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 21 36.064 0.699 0.018 199.645
17 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 27 36.101 0.736 0.037 199.440
18 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 16 36.109 0.744 0.008 199.396
19 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 18 36.115 0.750 0.006 199.363
20 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 12 36.170 0.805 0.055 199.060
21 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 9 36.222 0.857 0.052 198.774
22 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 15 36.389 1.024 0.167 197.862
23 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 20 36.456 1.091 0.067 197.498
24 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 16 36.603 1.238 0.147 196.705
25 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 7 36.657 1.292 0.054 196.415
26 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 16 36.713 1.348 0.056 196.116
27 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 13 36.720 1.355 0.007 196.078
28 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 16 36.763 1.398 0.043 195.849
29 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 14 36.782 1.417 0.019 195.748
30 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 21 36.811 1.446 0.029 195.594
31 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 18 36.980 1.615 0.169 194.700
32 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 15 37.100 1.735 0.120 194.070
33 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 15 37.235 1.870 0.135 193.366
34 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 14 37.458 2.093 0.223 192.215
35 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 18 37.487 2.122 0.029 192.067
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 10 37.792 2.427 0.305 190.517
37 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 3 38.356 2.991 0.564 187.715
38 15 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 10 38.493 3.128 0.137 187.047
39 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 6 39.127 3.762 0.634 184.016
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Michigan II
Location Michigan International Speedway
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report