Ryan Blaney leads opening Michigan Cup practice at 203.591mph
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.
|4||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||11||35.669||0.304||0.014||201.856|
|15||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||8||36.046||0.681||0.057||199.745|
|17||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||27||36.101||0.736||0.037||199.440|
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About this article
|Location||Michigan International Speedway|
|Article type||Practice report|