Kyle Busch leads final Cup practice at NHMS
Toyotas topped Happy Hour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Kyle Busch picked up speed over the course of the 55-minute session and led final practice with a lap of 130.950mph (29.086-seconds).
Polesitter Martin Truex Jr., who led second practice, was second quick with a single-lap speed of 130.568mph followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, rookie Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth and rookie Erik Jones.
Truex also posted the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average of 130.094mph followed Ryan Blaney’s 129.855mph. Elliott, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Suarez, Kenseth, Johnson, Larson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10 in the category.
Hamlin set the quick pace in his second lap of practice with a speed of 130.568mph in the back up car. But just before the five-minute mark, Kyle Busch shot to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 130.608mph (29.162-seconds) prior to completing eight laps.
Daniel Suarez was third quick with a speed of 130.663mph just before the 10-minute mark but was bumped by Martin Truex Jr. Truex moved up to second with his eighth lap (130.568mph). Ryan Blaney (130.287mph) was fifth followed by Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray.
Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were released from 15-minute practice holds for failing pre-race inspection at Kentucky Speedway. Spotter Eddie D’Hondt told Elliott Truex was running the same line the No. 24 had used at the end of the morning session.
Kyle Busch retained the top speed after 15 minutes, Truex, Hamlin, Johnson, Suarez, Blaney, Kenseth, Elliott, Kurt Busch and Keselowski rounded out the top 10. Elliott jumped to fourth after his third lap of 130.474mph.
Earnhardt Jr. broke into the top 10 after four laps with a speed of 129.882mph. Harvick moved up to ninth. After his first 14-lap run, Harvick’s best circuit was 130.109mph.
“I did fight loose a couple of times, that's why I jumped the cushion,” said Johnson after his second run.
NASCAR released Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Jeffrey Earnhardt from their 30-minute practice holds. Larson and Bowyer were docked 30 minutes for failing pre-race inspection multiple times last week at Kentucky. Jones and Earnhardt served double 15-minute holds for failing pre-qualifying at Kentucky and pre-race inspection at New Hampshire.
Larson vaulted into the fourth fastest time after his first run with a speed of 130.514mph (29.183-seconds). He described his car as “tight in the middle” after the 24-lap run. Jones also set a top-10 time — 29.245-seconds (130.238mph).
“Boy, that had a lot of turn,” Elliott said after completing 26 laps. ”I would sure like to make that work.”
With 15 minutes remaining in the session, Kyle Busch remained on top followed by Truex, Hamlin, Larson, Elliott, Johnson, Suarez, Blaney, Kenseth and Jones.
With 10 minutes to go, Harvick, Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top-20 speeds.
Keselowski’s 55 laps were the most completed in final practice.
|2||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||42||29.171||0.085||0.085||130.568|
|13||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||41||29.325||0.239||0.050||129.882|
|19||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||42||29.417||0.331||0.015||129.476|
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About this article
|Location||New Hampshire Motor Speedway|
|Teams||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Article type||Practice report|