Erik Jones tops final practice at Indianapolis

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Erik Jones tops final practice at Indianapolis
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 22, 2017, 4:10 PM

Rookie Erik Jones blazed across the bricks with a lap of 185.854mph to lead Happy Hour at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.

After two starts in the Xfinity Series, the driver of the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota is looking forward to his Brickyard 400 debut.

“I’m excited to make my first start in the Brickyard and hopefully have a good showing,” Jones said. “It’s just neat to be at Indy and close to home really for me. It’s neat to be there at a track that not only has the Brickyard 400, but the Indy 500 and all the history involved is pretty special.”

Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top 10 fastest single-lap speedway. Matt Kenseth’s 34 laps were the most completed during the final practice session.

Truex Jr. was the first driver on 2.5-mile track and established the fastest single-lap speed of 184.900mph.

Seven minutes in, Newman vaulted over Truex with a lap of 185.334mph. After the first 10 minutes, Newman remained atop the speed chart followed by Truex, Erik Jones, Kahne, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson.

Ryan Blaney bumped Newman on his first lap — 185.816mph — in the first 12 minutes of practice.

NASCAR released Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon from their 15-minute practice holds for failing pre-race inspection multiple times at New Hampshire. Busch was eighth-quick on his first run, Dillon ran 23rd. Blaney held onto the fastest time at the 15-minute mark — but only momentarily as Jones jumped to the top of the board with a lap of 185.854mph.

Thirty-minutes into the session, Jones held on to the top time followed by Blaney, Newman, Truex, Kahne, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Logano and McMurray. Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth’s 16 laps were the most completed.

With 20-minutes remaining, McMurray moved up to sixth in qualifying trim with a lap of 184.574mph. Shortly after, Kevin Harvick’s spotter Tim Fedewa had his hard card (NASCAR license) taken when his sandwich fell off the roof of the Pagoda. Steve Barkdoll finished the practice session as the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team’s spotter.

Forty-minutes into the session, Harvick vaulted up to second-quick with a lap of 185.824mph. Johnson moved up to fourth (185.487mph) after his mock qualifying run.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 9 48.425     185.854
2 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 14 48.433 0.008 0.008 185.824
3 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 6 48.435 0.010 0.002 185.816
4 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 16 48.521 0.096 0.086 185.487
5 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 15 48.528 0.103 0.007 185.460
6 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 7 48.561 0.136 0.033 185.334
7 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 18 48.609 0.184 0.048 185.151
8 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 15 48.610 0.185 0.001 185.147
9 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 14 48.642 0.217 0.032 185.025
10 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 13 48.675 0.250 0.033 184.900
11 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 16 48.733 0.308 0.058 184.680
12 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 14 48.895 0.470 0.162 184.068
13 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 28 48.926 0.501 0.031 183.951
14 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 18 48.946 0.521 0.020 183.876
15 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 14 48.968 0.543 0.022 183.793
16 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 15 49.007 0.582 0.039 183.647
17 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 32 49.133 0.708 0.126 183.176
18 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 11 49.138 0.713 0.005 183.158
19 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 12 49.227 0.802 0.089 182.826
20 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 34 49.272 0.847 0.045 182.660
21 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 5 49.274 0.849 0.002 182.652
22 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 17 49.461 1.036 0.187 181.962
23 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 15 49.540 1.115 0.079 181.671
24 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 17 49.631 1.206 0.091 181.338
25 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 16 49.645 1.220 0.014 181.287
26 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 9 49.657 1.232 0.012 181.243
27 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 11 49.692 1.267 0.035 181.116
28 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 10 49.754 1.329 0.062 180.890
29 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 8 50.257 1.832 0.503 179.080
30 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 12 50.271 1.846 0.014 179.030
31 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 7 50.451 2.026 0.180 178.391
32 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 15 50.594 2.169 0.143 177.887
33 7 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 12 50.620 2.195 0.026 177.795
34 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 15 50.671 2.246 0.051 177.616
35 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 11 51.095 2.670 0.424 176.142
36 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 6 51.194 2.769 0.099 175.802
37 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 7 52.423 3.998 1.229 171.680
38 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 11 52.448 4.023 0.025 171.599
39 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 4 52.555 4.130 0.107 171.249
40 15 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 8 53.735 5.310 1.180 167.489
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