Erik Jones tops Kyle Busch in Saturday's first Watkins Glen practice

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Erik Jones tops Kyle Busch in Saturday's first Watkins Glen practice
By: Jim Utter
Aug 4, 2018, 3:30 PM

Erik Jones, making just his fourth start on a road course in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, led the way in Saturday’s first practice session.

Jones, who also competed in Friday’s K&N Pro Series East race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International to gain experience, went to the top of the leaderboard in the final minutes of the session with an average lap speed of 125.165 mph.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Flavor Vote Winner

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Flavor Vote Winner

Photo by: LAT Images

“I had a good car. I just wanted to get an idea where I needed to run for my (qualifying) runs,” Jones said. “We’ll work hard at it and hopefully get a little more speed out of it.”

Clint Bowyer, who was complaining of a vibration periodically in his No. 14 Ford, was fourth-fastest while last year’s race winner, Martin Truex Jr., completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Michael McDowell and A.J. Allmendinger.

About 50 minutes into the session, Ryan Newman hit the guardrail with the right side of his No. 31 Chevrolet as he drove through the esses.

“You’re going to have to spend the rest of this session fixing it Luke,” Newman told his crew chief, Luke Lambert, over his radio. “I hit it pretty good.

“The front end seems to be straight, but I hit it with the right-front, too. I didn’t necessarily like that change. I expected it to be better.”

Newman said his team should be able to repair the damage and have it ready in time for Saturday’s final practice. He ended up 13th-fastest in the session.

Hamlin also brushed the wall on the final corner of his final lap, doing some left-rear damage to his No. 11 Toyota.

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 18 1'10.467     125.165
2 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 17 1'10.983 0.516 0.516 124.255
3 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 20 1'11.328 0.861 0.345 123.654
4 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 17 1'11.391 0.924 0.063 123.545
5 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 12 1'11.455 0.988 0.064 123.434
6 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 15 1'11.459 0.992 0.004 123.427
7 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 8 1'11.481 1.014 0.022 123.389
8 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 16 1'11.605 1.138 0.124 123.176
9 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 14 1'11.634 1.167 0.029 123.126
10 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 15 1'11.668 1.201 0.034 123.067
11 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 15 1'11.750 1.283 0.082 122.927
12 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 17 1'11.759 1.292 0.009 122.911
13 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 10 1'11.774 1.307 0.015 122.886
14 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 16 1'11.789 1.322 0.015 122.860
15 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 7 1'11.804 1.337 0.015 122.834
16 95 United States Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 14 1'11.843 1.376 0.039 122.768
17 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 25 1'11.872 1.405 0.029 122.718
18 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 14 1'11.872 1.405 0.000 122.718
19 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 13 1'11.903 1.436 0.031 122.665
20 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 19 1'11.924 1.457 0.021 122.629
21 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 18 1'11.948 1.481 0.024 122.589
22 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 16 1'12.085 1.618 0.137 122.356
23 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 19 1'12.108 1.641 0.023 122.317
24 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 14 1'12.146 1.679 0.038 122.252
25 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 19 1'12.146 1.679 0.000 122.252
26 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 15 1'12.292 1.825 0.146 122.005
27 6 United States Matt Kenseth  Ford 13 1'12.322 1.855 0.030 121.955
28 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 15 1'12.578 2.111 0.256 121.524
29 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 11 1'12.627 2.160 0.049 121.442
30 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 14 1'12.910 2.443 0.283 120.971
31 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 17 1'13.002 2.535 0.092 120.819
32 72 United States Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 6 1'13.004 2.537 0.002 120.815
33 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 20 1'13.365 2.898 0.361 120.221
34 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 17 1'13.480 3.013 0.115 120.033
35 51 United States Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 6 1'14.043 3.576 0.563 119.120
36 23 United States Spencer Gallagher  Toyota 21 1'14.245 3.778 0.202 118.796
37 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 8 1'14.502 4.035 0.257 118.386
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Watkins Glen
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report