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Practice report

NASCAR Cup Iowa: Several tire issues as Gragson leads practice

Noah Gragson ended up fastest in a NASCAR Cup practice session Friday at Iowa Speedway which saw several drivers experience tire issues

For one of the few times this season, Cup teams were given a 50-minute practice session on Friday, this time because it’s the series’ first race at the .875-mile oval. The track has also been recently partially repaved.

With several cars doing mock qualifying runs late in the session, Gragson ended up with the top average speed at 137.988 mph.

Ty Gibbs was second quick (136.558 mph) and Alex Bowman ended up third (136.334 mph).

Justin Haley and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Chase Briscoe.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Tyler Reddick (who also suffered a right-front flat) had the top average lap speed (135.168 mph) followed by Chastain and Bowman.

About 14 minutes into the session, Gibbs was forced to pull off the track after he suffered a flat right-front tire but was able to keep his No. 54 Toyota off the Turn 3 wall.

Several minutes after the track returned to green, Gibbs’ Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Christopher Bell, also had a right-front tire go down but he hit the wall between Turns 3 and 4 fairly hard and did significant right-side damage to his No. 20 Toyota.

Watch: Christopher Bell smashes primary car into wall during practice session

“Just lost the tire, man. Lost the tire,” Bell said after the incident. Asked about what he had learned from his time on the track, he said, “It’s about what we expected. Lots of grip on the bottom, and that’s what we expected.”

Bell’s No. 20 team was forced to move to a backup car, and he will have to start Sunday night’s race from the rear of the field.

About 30 minutes into the session, Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet came to a rest on the backstretch after he appeared to have a left-rear tire go down. It took nearly 13 minutes to tow his car on a dolley back to the garage.

 

Austin Cindric had a right-front tire go down and grazed the Turn 2 wall with about 10 minutes to go in practice. He will also go to a backup car and join Bell at the rear of the field.

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL MPH
1 N. GragsonSTEWART-HAAS RACING 10 Ford 40

22.828

  137.988
2
T. GibbsJOE GIBBS RACING
54 Toyota 45

+0.239

23.067

0.239 136.559
3 A. BowmanHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 48 Chevrolet 48

+0.277

23.105

0.038 136.334
4 J. HaleyRICK WARE RACING 51 Ford 32

+0.288

23.116

0.011 136.269
5 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 53

+0.354

23.182

0.066 135.881
6 R. ChastainTRACKHOUSE RACING 1 Chevrolet 41

+0.368

23.196

0.014 135.799
7 H. BurtonWOOD BROTHERS RACING 21 Ford 35

+0.371

23.199

0.003 135.782
8 D. HamlinJOE GIBBS RACING 11 Toyota 61

+0.379

23.207

0.008 135.735
9 A. DillonRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 3 Chevrolet 31

+0.387

23.215

0.008 135.688
10 C. BriscoeSTEWART-HAAS RACING 14 Ford 60

+0.410

23.238

0.023 135.554
11 T. Reddick23XI RACING 45 Toyota 57

+0.419

23.247

0.009 135.501
12 R. Stenhouse JrJTG DAUGHERTY RACING 47 Chevrolet 59

+0.444

23.272

0.025 135.356
13 K. LarsonHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 5 Chevrolet 50

+0.456

23.284

0.012 135.286
14 C. LajoieSPIRE MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 50

+0.477

23.305

0.021 135.164
15 D. SuarezTRACKHOUSE RACING 99 Chevrolet 51

+0.478

23.306

0.001 135.158
16 C. BellJOE GIBBS RACING 20 Toyota 19

+0.479

23.307

0.001 135.153
17 A. AllmendingerKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 34

+0.489

23.317

0.010 135.095
18 K. GralaRICK WARE RACING 15 Ford 43

+0.494

23.322

0.005 135.066
19 B. Wallace23XI RACING 23 Toyota 54

+0.514

23.342

0.020 134.950
20 J. BerrySTEWART-HAAS RACING 4 Ford 39

+0.525

23.353

0.011 134.886
21
C. HocevarSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
77 Chevrolet 32

+0.532

23.360

0.007 134.846
22 R. BlaneyTEAM PENSKE 12 Ford 49

+0.536

23.364

0.004 134.823
23 J. LoganoTEAM PENSKE 22 Ford 46

+0.545

23.373

0.009 134.771
24 W. ByronHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 24 Chevrolet 37

+0.555

23.383

0.010 134.713
25 M. McDowellFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 34 Ford 56

+0.558

23.386

0.003 134.696
26 R. PreeceSTEWART-HAAS RACING 41 Ford 33

+0.568

23.396

0.010 134.638
27 B. KeselowskiRFK RACING 6 Ford 40

+0.571

23.399

0.003 134.621
28 T. GillilandFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 38 Ford 47

+0.579

23.407

0.008 134.575
29 D. HemricKAULIG RACING 31 Chevrolet 46

+0.588

23.416

0.009 134.523
30 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 8 Chevrolet 47

+0.607

23.435

0.019 134.414
31 C. BuescherRFK RACING 17 Ford 51

+0.648

23.476

0.041 134.180
32 J. NemechekLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 42 Toyota 47

+0.660

23.488

0.012 134.111
33 M. Truex JrJOE GIBBS RACING 19 Toyota 36

+0.685

23.513

0.025 133.968
34 A. CindricTEAM PENSKE 2 Ford 46

+0.685

23.513

0.000 133.968
35
Z. SmithSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
71 Chevrolet 45

+0.703

23.531

0.018 133.866
36 E. JonesLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 43 Toyota 30

+1.036

23.864

0.333 131.998

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