Kyle Busch leads final Cup practice at NHMS

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Kyle Busch leads final Cup practice at NHMS
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 15, 2017, 5:46 PM

Toyotas topped Happy Hour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford

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.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 49 29.086     130.950
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 42 29.171 0.085 0.085 130.568
3 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 51 29.171 0.085 0.000 130.568
4 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 24 29.183 0.097 0.012 130.514
5 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 39 29.192 0.106 0.009 130.474
6 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 46 29.210 0.124 0.018 130.394
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 47 29.220 0.134 0.010 130.349
8 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 44 29.234 0.148 0.014 130.287
9 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 54 29.236 0.150 0.002 130.278
10 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 30 29.245 0.159 0.009 130.238
11 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 36 29.274 0.188 0.029 130.109
12 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 55 29.275 0.189 0.001 130.104
13 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 41 29.325 0.239 0.050 129.882
14 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 52 29.352 0.266 0.027 129.763
15 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 38 29.380 0.294 0.028 129.639
16 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 46 29.383 0.297 0.003 129.626
17 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 30 29.391 0.305 0.008 129.591
18 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 53 29.402 0.316 0.011 129.542
19 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 42 29.417 0.331 0.015 129.476
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 37 29.422 0.336 0.005 129.454
21 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 32 29.437 0.351 0.015 129.388
22 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 45 29.477 0.391 0.040 129.213
23 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 33 29.484 0.398 0.007 129.182
24 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 48 29.512 0.426 0.028 129.059
25 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 31 29.534 0.448 0.022 128.963
26 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 43 29.538 0.452 0.004 128.946
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 37 29.541 0.455 0.003 128.933
28 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 41 29.551 0.465 0.010 128.889
29 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 46 29.606 0.520 0.055 128.650
30 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 31 29.692 0.606 0.086 128.277
31 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 44 29.708 0.622 0.016 128.208
32 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 25 29.709 0.623 0.001 128.204
33 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 36 29.727 0.641 0.018 128.126
34 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 40 29.755 0.669 0.028 128.005
35 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 15 30.192 1.106 0.437 126.153
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 22 30.362 1.276 0.170 125.446
37 51 united_states Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 4 30.634 1.548 0.272 124.332
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Loudon
Location New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report