Kyle Busch led his fellow Championship 4 contenders—and the rest of the Monster Energy Cup Series field— in first practice at Miami-Homestead Speedway on Friday.
Late in the session, Busch posted a lap of 172.695mph after completing just seven laps. Martin Truex Jr., was second-quick followed by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Trevor Bayne, Jimmie Johnson, Michael McDowell, Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez.
Brad Keselowski, who suffered brake issues early on, had his calipers replaced after the first session. Chase Elliott’s 34 laps were the most completed.
Jimmie Johnson was the first car on the race track for first practice, but it was Martin Truex Jr., that set the early pace in qualifying trim—172.128mph (31.372-seconds)—after his first lap. Johnson ran second (170.181mph) followed by Hamlin (170.100mph), Earnhardt (169.646mph), McMurray (169.194mph), Elliott (168.945mph), Harvick (168.845mph), Almirola (168.624mph), Blaney (168.413mph) and Bayne (168.376mph) after the first 10 minutes.
“He was one lane off the bottom in 1 and 2, third lane off the bottom in 3 and 4,” spotter Chris Lambert told Hamlin of Truex’s lap. Hamlin had a cut tire after his first run and elected to complete just five laps.
Just before the 20-minute mark, Kyle Busch bumped Johnson to third with his first lap—170.946mph. Brad Keselowski’s first lap was 10th-quick (168.466mph), but there was a brake issue with the No. 2 Ford and he returned to the pits.
Earnhardt reported 25-minutes into practice, “Something broke in the engine.” He was fifth on the speed chart at the time.
After the first 30 minutes, Elliott’s 20 laps were the most completed. He was seventh-fast of the 36 cars to post a time. Erik Jones broke into the top 10 with the ninth-fastest lap (168.877mph) 40-minutes into the session.
Clint Bowyer vaulted up to seventh on his 11th lap (169.173mph). Moments later, Kurt Busch’s mock qualifying run was fifth-fast (169.940mph) on his 12th lap during the 84-minute session. Keselowski returned to the track after the team worked on his brakes.
After the first hour, Truex maintained the top speed followed by Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Earnhardt, McMurray, Bowyer, Larson and Blaney. Elliott, Keselowski, Jones, Harvick, Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Bayne, Chris Buescher and Kasey Kahne completed the top 20 speeds.
Kyle Busch shot to the top of the chart at the one hour, 12-minute mark with a lap of 172.695mph. Harvick joined his fellow Championship 4 drivers with the third-best lap (171.865mph).
|2||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||7||31.299||0.030||0.030||172.529|
|14||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||12||31.831||0.562||0.000||169.646|
|16||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||23||31.894||0.625||0.042||169.311|
|39||51||Ray Black Jr.||Chevrolet||18||34.626||3.357||0.333||155.952|