Denny Hamlin leads first NASCAR Cup practice at Bristol
Denny Hamlin’s girlfriend delivered the couple’s second child — Molly Gold — on Tuesday, while the driver delivered the top single-lap speed of 129.230mph in first practice at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday.
“I was loose in then banging the splitter pretty bad,” Hamlin said after completing 43 laps “It’s loose in at the two-thirds mark by a mile.” Hamlin posted 56 circuits during the 85-minute session
Kyle Busch was second-quick followed by Kasey Kahne, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s 82 laps were the most posted during first practice.
Jamie McMurray led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average category with a speed of 126.604mph, followed by Hamlin (126.469mph), Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Johnson, Jones, Kyle Busch, Bowyer, Aric Almirola and Dale Earnhardt Jr., rounded out the top 10 on 10-lap runs.
After the first 10 minutes, Hamlin shot to the top of the speed chart followed by Logano, Blaney, Ty Dillon, Landon Cassill, Corey LaJoie, Kenseth, Matt DiBenedetto and Chris Buescher.
“Slow,” Hamlin said after completing eight laps.
Jones moved up to the top of the board with a lap of 128.142mph after six laps. Johnson was third (127.997mph) after four laps. Stenhouse, Elliott, Kahne Blaney, Chris Buescher, Suarez and Ty Dillon rounded out the top 10 at the 15-minute mark.
Kyle Busch laid down the fastest lap (128.485mph), 17 minutes in the session. His Toyota teammates Jones and Hamlin remained second and third, respectively.
“Overall grip is pretty good, a little loose in, a little tight middle,” said McMurray after breaking into the top 10 with a lap of 127.792mph after 12 laps. “We need to work on the entry to start with. I’m a little bit guarded which hurts the middle.
Twenty-minutes in, Blaney bumped Kyle Busch to second with a lap of 128.917mph. Hamlin, Jones and Stenhouse rounded out the top-five single lap speeds. Matt Kenseth vaulted up to third with a top speed of 128.356mph after his 11-lap run — just before the 25-minute mark.
Kahne climbed to the top spot with a lap of 128.943mph, twenty-five minutes in. He was passed by Kyle Busch (129.221mph). Two minutes later, Larson triggered the red flag after spinning off of Turn 4. He had just completed 11 laps and was 21st on the speed chart.
The track returned to green just before the 30-minute mark. Busch remained atop the speed chart followed by Kahne, Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kenseth, Jones, Stenhouse, Johnson and Elliott.
A couple minutes later, Hamlin jumped to P1 with a speed of 129.230mph. He held the top spot until caution came out for rain just before 50-minutes in. Kyle Busch was second followed by Kahne, Blaney, Bowyer, Kenseth, Truex, Jones, Stenhouse and Johnson.
NASCAR resumed practice 55-minutes in. Forty-one cars posted speeds. After the first hour, Johnson’s 45 laps were the most completed. His top speed was 127.997mph.
|7||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||46||14.954||0.106||0.005||128.313|
|9||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||71||14.990||0.142||0.020||128.005|
|27||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||65||15.145||0.297||0.019||126.695|
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