Denny Hamlin leads opening Cup practice at Indianapolis

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Denny Hamlin leads opening Cup practice at Indianapolis
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 22, 2017, 2:08 PM

Denny Hamlin picked up at Indy where he left off at New Hampshire — on top of the pylon.

Hamlin posted the top single-lap speed of 187.414mph during his third of four race runs at the Brickyard during first practice on Saturday.

Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 10 in the 55-minute session.

Defending Brickyard 400 winner Kyle Busch was the first car on the track followed by 2003 Indy victor Harvick. But it was Kenseth setting the early pace with a lap of 185.200mph.

After the first 10 minutes of the session, Kenseth was atop the speed chart after three laps. Kahne, Larson, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Blaney and Keselowski, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10 single-lap speeds.

Martin Truex Jr. bumped Kenseth on his second lap with a speed of 185.559mph. Harvick also broke into the top 10 (ninth) with a speed of 184.188mph).

NASCAR released Jimmie Johnson from his 15-minute practice hold. The penalty stemmed from being late to pre-race inspection at New Hampshire. Corey LaJoie was also released. The No. 23 was penalized for the same infraction. The No. 48 was 13th-quick after its first three-lap run.

Hamlin vaulted over Truex on his second run with a lap of 186.959mph just before the 30-minute mark. Kenseth remained third followed Kahne, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Blaney, Harvick and Keselowski. Earnhardt’s 12 laps were the most completed at that point.

Newman dropped to 11th followed by Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and 2010 Brickyard winner Jamie McMurray.

Hamlin improved his single-lap speed to 187.414mph on his third run with less than 10 minutes remaining in the session.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 7 48.022     187.414
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 15 48.502 0.480 0.480 185.559
3 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 19 48.596 0.574 0.094 185.200
4 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 23 48.609 0.587 0.013 185.151
5 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 18 48.648 0.626 0.039 185.002
6 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 20 48.720 0.698 0.072 184.729
7 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 22 48.788 0.766 0.068 184.472
8 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 18 48.793 0.771 0.005 184.453
9 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 15 48.863 0.841 0.070 184.188
10 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 16 48.863 0.841 0.000 184.188
11 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 18 48.924 0.902 0.061 183.959
12 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 14 48.990 0.968 0.066 183.711
13 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 14 49.032 1.010 0.042 183.554
14 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 21 49.037 1.015 0.005 183.535
15 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 21 49.090 1.068 0.053 183.337
16 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 21 49.110 1.088 0.020 183.262
17 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 23 49.118 1.096 0.008 183.232
18 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 13 49.183 1.161 0.065 182.990
19 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 10 49.377 1.355 0.194 182.271
20 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 13 49.435 1.413 0.058 182.057
21 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 7 49.482 1.460 0.047 181.884
22 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 18 49.497 1.475 0.015 181.829
23 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 13 49.523 1.501 0.026 181.734
24 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 10 49.586 1.564 0.063 181.503
25 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 8 49.637 1.615 0.051 181.316
26 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 10 49.691 1.669 0.054 181.119
27 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 14 49.782 1.760 0.091 180.788
28 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 16 49.790 1.768 0.008 180.759
29 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 16 49.981 1.959 0.191 180.068
30 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 18 50.001 1.979 0.020 179.996
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 14 50.266 2.244 0.265 179.047
32 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 9 50.316 2.294 0.050 178.870
33 7 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 11 50.581 2.559 0.265 177.932
34 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 10 51.164 3.142 0.583 175.905
35 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 7 51.207 3.185 0.043 175.757
36 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 2 52.480 4.458 1.273 171.494
37 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 3 52.678 4.656 0.198 170.849
38 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 6 52.971 4.949 0.293 169.904
39 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 4 53.423 5.401 0.452 168.467
40 15 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 10 53.511 5.489 0.088 168.190
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Indianapolis
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report