Kyle Busch leads the way in final practice at Chicagoland

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Kyle Busch leads the way in final practice at Chicagoland
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Sep 16, 2017, 7:02 PM

Kyle Busch topped the speed chart in Happy Hour on Saturday.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Busch set the early pace in final practice with a lap of 180.252mph at Chicagoland Speedway.

Austin Dillon was second-quick (179.438mph) followed by Keselowski (179.289mph), Elliott (179.134mph), Bowyer (178.542mph), Hamlin (178.312mph), Blaney (177.515), Bayne, Landon Cassill and Ryan Newman.

“This is one of those places that is kind of like last week, tire wear is a big deal and being able to keep both right sides on it – you have the keep the right front and you have to keep the right rear on it,” Busch said. “I just haven’t been very good at being able to do that here in the long runs. We definitely have our work cut out for us with that and getting a good race package setup for Sunday.”

In the first five minutes, Stenhouse bounced up to eighth followed by McMurray then Bayne. At the 10-minute mark, the top 10 remained the same. Cassill dropped to 11th followed by Newman Larson, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard, Chris Buescher, David Ragan, Corey LaJoie, Cole Whitt and Brett Moffitt.

“I started pretty tight on exit, the entry was good,” said Hamlin after 19 laps.

But drivers in time out became the hot topic in final practice with half the field waiting on pit road until their penalties expired. The top 10 speeds remained the same after the first 15 minutes, once the first round penalized drivers were released that pylon quickly changed.

Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Ty Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., had 15-minute holds for failing qualifying inspection twice.

Truex was the first driver to post a time after serving his penalty. He was eighth-quick on his first lap — 177.871mph. Harvick climbed up to sixth (178.359mph). Logano bounced up to ninth with his first lap (177.643mph).

Blaney dropped to 10th-quick followed by Stenhouse Jr., McMurray, Trevor Bayne, Landon Cassill and Ryan Newman. Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Paul Menard rounded out the top 20.

“Way too loose off the wall,” Earnhardt said ofter his 10th lap.

At the 30-minute mark, NASCAR released the final group of penalized drivers — Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson — both failed qualifying inspection twice at Chicagoland and Richmond, as well as Erik Jones who failed qualifying inspection three times. Jones jumped up to 14th-quick (176.765mph), Almirola climbed up to 21st (176.108mph) and Johnson (175.701mph) ended up 24th on the speed chart.

With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Busch led the top 10. Larson had posted the 11th fastest lap (177.357mph) and his 43 circuits were the most completed. Stenhouse, McMurray, Jones, Bayne, Cassill, Newman, Daniel Suarez, Earnhardt and Patrick rounded out the top 20.

“It’s eight numbers tight center off,” Kyle Busch said on his final run. Elliott and McMurray’s 53 laps were the most completed in the final practice session leading into the Tales of the Turtles 400 on Sunday.

Twenty-six cars posted Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages with Harvick leading the category with a speed of 175.784mph. Kyle Busch was second (175.667mph) followed by Elliott (175.363mph), Truex (175.119mph), Hamlin (174.739mph), Austin Dillon (174.717mph), Logano (177.548mph), Keselowski (174.534mph), Bowyer (174.517mph) and Larson (174.397mph).

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 39 29.958     180.252
2 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 28 30.094 0.136 0.136 179.438
3 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 48 30.119 0.161 0.025 179.289
4 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 53 30.145 0.187 0.026 179.134
5 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 33 30.245 0.287 0.100 178.542
6 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 38 30.276 0.318 0.031 178.359
7 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 47 30.284 0.326 0.008 178.312
8 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 33 30.359 0.401 0.075 177.871
9 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 49 30.398 0.440 0.039 177.643
10 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 35 30.420 0.462 0.022 177.515
11 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 52 30.447 0.489 0.027 177.357
12 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 34 30.540 0.582 0.093 176.817
13 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 53 30.541 0.583 0.001 176.811
14 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 22 30.549 0.591 0.008 176.765
15 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 22 30.552 0.594 0.003 176.748
16 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 37 30.559 0.601 0.007 176.707
17 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 31 30.575 0.617 0.016 176.615
18 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 22 30.591 0.633 0.016 176.523
19 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 25 30.651 0.693 0.060 176.177
20 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 43 30.659 0.701 0.008 176.131
21 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 17 30.663 0.705 0.004 176.108
22 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 29 30.679 0.721 0.016 176.016
23 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 13 30.718 0.760 0.039 175.793
24 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 22 30.734 0.776 0.016 175.701
25 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 31 30.811 0.853 0.077 175.262
26 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 26 30.861 0.903 0.050 174.978
27 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 23 30.892 0.934 0.031 174.803
28 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 25 30.906 0.948 0.014 174.723
29 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 30 30.930 0.972 0.024 174.588
30 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 30 30.931 0.973 0.001 174.582
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 37 31.135 1.177 0.204 173.438
32 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 32 31.163 1.205 0.028 173.282
33 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 19 31.304 1.346 0.141 172.502
34 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 11 31.523 1.565 0.219 171.303
35 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 23 31.586 1.628 0.063 170.962
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 25 31.734 1.776 0.148 170.164
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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