Kyle Busch leads Toyota 1-2-3-4 in first Chicagoland practice

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Kyle Busch leads Toyota 1-2-3-4 in first Chicagoland practice
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Sep 15, 2017, 6:15 PM

Kyle Busch bumped Denny Hamlin from the top of the speed chart in the closing minutes of first practice at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday.

Busch’s seventh circuit was his fastest — 184.143mph (29.325-seconds).

“At Chicago, we ran really well there in ’08 and, unfortunately, ’09, ’10 and ’11 we kind of a struggled,” who won here from the pole in 2008. “The last several years we ran well there but didn’t always get the finishes we deserved for how well we ran. We had a really solid top-five run going the last two years.”

Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez also found speed towards the end of the 85-minute session and posted the second fastest lap — 183.418mph. Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Danica Patrick, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 10-single lap speeds. 

In the first five minutes, Chris Buescher posted the fastest single-lap run of the session — 178.540mph followed by David Ragan (175.896mph). Michael McDowell quickly topped that mark with a lap of 177.020mph.

Ryan Blaney was the first playoff contender on the 1.5-mile track. In his second lap he ran 181.598mph to bump the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford to the top of the speed chart.

Ten minutes into the session, Blaney continued to lead followed by Aric Almirola (178.012mph), Trevor Bayne (177.038mph), McDowell, Joey Logano (176.800mph), Buescher, Ragan, and Danica Patrick (175.838mph). Sixteen cars completed initial laps.

Kurt Busch jumped up to second-quick with a lap of 179.289mph before the 12-minute mark. Jamie McMurray vaulted to fourth (178.071mph).

Denny Hamlin was the next playoff driver to make a move. Within the first 15 minutes, the No. 11 vaulted to P1 with a lap of 181.604mph. Blaney dropped to second followed by Kenseth (181.153mph), Harvick (180.971mph), Truex (180.415mph), Keselowski (179.904mph), Austin Dillon (179.796mph), Kurt Busch, Larson (179.099mph) and Erik Jones (178.330mph).

At the 20-minute mark, 31 drivers had taken laps. Jimmie Johnson joined the party shortly after. His first lap, was 12th-quick (178.200mph). He was bumped by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (fifth, 180.971mph) and Kyle Busch (sixth, 180.898mph).

After the first 30 minutes, Hamlin still led the way with his single-lap run followed by Blaney, Kenseth, Harvick, Stenhouse, Kyle Busch, Truex, Daniel Suarez (180.150mph), Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, Larson, Jones, Johnson and McMurray. Larson’s 12 laps were the most completed at that moment. 

Larson moved up to second with a lap of 182.556mph after 14 laps. Kyle Busch climbed to fifth (180.977mph), Harvick dropped to sixth followed by Stenhouse, Suarez, Truex and Jones 45 minutes into first practice. 

NASCAR’s threw the first yellow flag for a towel on the track at the 55-minute mark. Chase Elliott’s 22 laps were the most completed just before the first hour in. He was 18th on the chart with a lap of 177.819mph.

When the track returned to green, several drivers executed mock qualifying runs. Truex improved to third quick with his lap of 182.014mph. Harvick leapfrogged over Truex and Larson with a lap of 182.642mph after 65 minutes. Elliott cruised up to fifth (181.892mph). Before the 70-minute mark, Kyle Busch captures P4 (182.550mph) and bumped Elliott outside of the top five.Although Kurt Busch’s Q-run was interrupted by another driver, he recovered with the ninth fastest lap (181.318mph).

With 10 minutes remaining, the top six remained in tact followed by Suarez, Blaney, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Jones, Kenseth, McMurray, Austin Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Kyle Busch took the top spot(184.143mph) with less than four minutes on the clock.

“P1,” the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team told Busch.

Suarez mock qualifying run lifted the No. 19 car to second — 183.418mph. Patrick cracked the top 10 with alpa of 181.849mph — fast enough for eighth. Kurt Busch made a final attempt but couldn’t improve on tenth quick.

“That was tight and I had to lift a ton off of Turn 4,” Busch said. “You’ll see it.”

Keselowski knocked Busch to 11th as first practice came to an end.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 7 29.325     184.143
2 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 7 29.441 0.116 0.116 183.418
3 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 8 29.521 0.196 0.080 182.921
4 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 9 29.531 0.206 0.010 182.859
5 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 5 29.566 0.241 0.035 182.642
6 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 18 29.580 0.255 0.014 182.556
7 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 26 29.688 0.363 0.108 181.892
8 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 22 29.695 0.370 0.007 181.849
9 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 17 29.736 0.411 0.041 181.598
10 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 9 29.740 0.415 0.004 181.574
11 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 9 29.740 0.415 0.000 181.574
12 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 18 29.758 0.433 0.018 181.464
13 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 7 29.783 0.458 0.025 181.311
14 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 9 29.795 0.470 0.012 181.238
15 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 5 29.809 0.484 0.014 181.153
16 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 14 29.820 0.495 0.011 181.087
17 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 18 29.833 0.508 0.013 181.008
18 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 8 29.848 0.523 0.015 180.917
19 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 9 29.869 0.544 0.021 180.789
20 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 28 29.900 0.575 0.031 180.602
21 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 18 29.905 0.580 0.005 180.572
22 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 16 29.981 0.656 0.076 180.114
23 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 18 29.983 0.658 0.002 180.102
24 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 15 29.997 0.672 0.014 180.018
25 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 14 30.031 0.706 0.034 179.814
26 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 14 30.073 0.748 0.042 179.563
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 18 30.125 0.800 0.052 179.253
28 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 20 30.190 0.865 0.065 178.867
29 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 11 30.332 1.007 0.142 178.030
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 18 30.332 1.007 0.000 178.030
31 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 6 30.367 1.042 0.035 177.825
32 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 17 30.443 1.118 0.076 177.381
33 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 4 30.459 1.134 0.016 177.288
34 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 17 30.477 1.152 0.018 177.183
35 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 9 31.114 1.789 0.637 173.555
36 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Toyota 19 31.265 1.940 0.151 172.717
37 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 17 31.305 1.980 0.040 172.496
38 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 15 31.522 2.197 0.217 171.309
39 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 4 31.693 2.368 0.171 170.385
40 51 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 18 32.598 3.273 0.905 165.654
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About this article

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