Brad Keselowski tops final Cup practice at Watkins Glen

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Brad Keselowski tops final Cup practice at Watkins Glen
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Aug 5, 2017, 5:28 PM

Brad Keselowski led Happy Hour at Watkins Glen on Saturday.

Keselowski posted a lap of 125.880mph (70.067-seconds) after four runs of 16 total laps.

Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10 single-lap speeds.

After 25 cars posted first laps, Jamie McMurray held the top speed of 125.233mph. Keselowski was second (125.055mph) followed by Kurt Busch (124.511mph), Denny Hamlin (124.185mph) and Chase Elliott (124.035mph). AJ Allmendinger, Kahne, Kenseth, Harvick and Bowyer rounded out the top 10.

Just after five minutes, Truex popped up to third (124.641mph). Moments later, Boris Said destroyed the nose on the No. 33 Chevy in the bus stop and forced the red flag. Maintenance trucks cleared the grass and dirt from the circuit in the inner loop. Before cars could return to the track, a light sprinkle blew over the track.

The Nos. 13, 31, 48 and 72 were released from a 15-minute practice hold for failing qualifying/pre-race practice inspection twice at Pocono.

One minute later, the shower passed through and 25 cars returned to the track. McMurray was still fastest in single-lap speed. Just before the 22-minute mark, Keselowksi moved to the top (125.880mph) on his third lap. Kurt Busch took over P2 (125.862mph). McMurray, Truex, Bowyer, Hamlin,

“It felt slower, like I was tighter on each apex,” Kurt Busch said. His crew chief Tony Gibson replied, “That was a .70-flat. Your best lap.”

NASCAR released Kyle Larson from time out at the 30-minute mark. Larson executed a burn out on pit road following lug nut inspection at Pocono. Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Chris Buescher and Erik Jones were also released from 30-minute holds due to failing inspection three times at Pocono.

Keselowski remained atop the leader board followed by Kurt Busch, McMurray, Truex, Stenhouse (124.464mph), Bowyer, Hamlin, Harvick, Elliott and Allmendinger. Six minutes later, Kyle Busch jumped up to fifth with a lap of 124.504mph. At the 40-minute mark, Busch moved to fourth on his eight lap — 124.906mph.

Ryan Blaney climbed up to seventh with just over 10 minutes remaining. Blaney’s eighth lap was 124.786mph. Daniel Suarez was bumped to 11th followed by Jones, Elliott, Allmendinger, Kahne, Kenseth, Logano, Buescher, Larson and Ty Dillon.

With seven minutes to go, Hamlin (125.281mph) bounced up to third in qualifying trim followed by Larson (125.268mph), McMurray, McDowell, Kyle Busch, Harvick and Blaney.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 2 united_states Brad Keselowski 
Ford 16 70.067     125.880
2 41 united_states Kurt Busch 
Ford 12 70.077 0.010 0.010 125.862
3 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr. 
Toyota 13 70.224 0.157 0.147 125.598
4 14 united_states Clint Bowyer 
Ford 12 70.342 0.275 0.118 125.387
5 11 united_states Denny Hamlin 
Toyota 15 70.402 0.335 0.060 125.281
6 42 united_states Kyle Larson 
Chevrolet 7 70.409 0.342 0.007 125.268
7 1 united_states Jamie McMurray 
Chevrolet 16 70.429 0.362 0.020 125.233
8 24 united_states Chase Elliott 
Chevrolet 14 70.478 0.411 0.049 125.145
9 95 united_states Michael McDowell 
Chevrolet 12 70.515 0.448 0.037 125.080
10 18 united_states Kyle Busch 
Toyota 11 70.613 0.546 0.098 124.906
11 4 united_states Kevin Harvick 
Ford 9 70.620 0.553 0.007 124.894
12 21 united_states Ryan Blaney 
Ford 10 70.681 0.614 0.061 124.786
13 27 united_states Paul Menard 
Chevrolet 10 70.863 0.796 0.182 124.466
14 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 
Ford 11 70.864 0.797 0.001 124.464
15 22 united_states Joey Logano 
Ford 15 70.873 0.806 0.009 124.448
16 19 mexico Daniel Suarez 
Toyota 14 71.049 0.982 0.176 124.140
17 77 united_states Erik Jones 
Toyota 10 71.087 1.020 0.038 124.073
18 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger 
Chevrolet 11 71.112 1.045 0.025 124.030
19 5 united_states Kasey Kahne 
Chevrolet 17 71.113 1.046 0.001 124.028
20 20 united_states Matt Kenseth 
Toyota 14 71.162 1.095 0.049 123.943
21 37 united_states Chris Buescher 
Chevrolet 3 71.227 1.160 0.065 123.829
22 13 united_states Ty Dillon 
Chevrolet 11 71.334 1.267 0.107 123.644
23 10 united_states Danica Patrick 
Ford 8 71.392 1.325 0.058 123.543
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne 
Ford 12 71.408 1.341 0.016 123.516
25 43 united_states Aric Almirola 
Ford 12 71.513 1.446 0.105 123.334
26 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson 
Chevrolet 14 71.638 1.571 0.125 123.119
27 31 united_states Ryan Newman 
Chevrolet 8 71.684 1.617 0.046 123.040
28 3 united_states Austin Dillon 
Chevrolet 13 71.783 1.716 0.099 122.870
29 72 united_states Cole Whitt 
Chevrolet 9 71.835 1.768 0.052 122.781
30 38 united_states David Ragan 
Ford 12 72.278 2.211 0.443 122.029
31 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
Chevrolet 9 72.316 2.249 0.038 121.965
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill 
Ford 9 72.433 2.366 0.117 121.768
33 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto 
Ford 12 72.531 2.464 0.098 121.603
34 15 canada Gary Klutt 
Chevrolet 12 73.154 3.087 0.623 120.568
35 83 united_states Brett Moffitt 
Toyota 10 73.213 3.146 0.059 120.470
36 33 united_states Boris Said 
Chevrolet 2 73.660 3.593 0.447 119.739
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Watkins Glen
Location Watkins Glen International
Drivers Brad Keselowski
Teams Team Penske
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report