Kyle Busch leads action-packed first practice at Watkins Glen

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Kyle Busch leads action-packed first practice at Watkins Glen
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Aug 5, 2017, 3:07 PM

Fresh off of his win at Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch continued his fast pace at Watkins Glen.

Busch posted the fastest single-lap speed on the 2.45-mile road course in first practice on Saturday with a lap of 125.516mph.

Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Michael McDowell rounded out the top 10 speeds.

Logano set the early pace on his first four-lap run but six minutes into the session, Dale Earnhardt Jr., spun followed by Corey LaJoie, who went off the track coming into the carousel (Turn 5). LaJoie hit the guard rail with a flat left rear tire. He had completed two laps.

Logano continued to lead the session followed by McMurray, Harvick, Allmendinger, Menard, Keselowski, Stenhouse, Elliott, Buescher and Kahne.

The track returned to green with 36 minutes remaining when Jimmie Johnson spun out and the right front went into rail entering Turn 1. Johnson had completed his first lap and was 32nd on the board.

Before the field could get rolling, Gary Klutt spun to trigger the red flag. The No. 15 had to be pushed off the 2.45-second circuit.

Practice resumed with 32-minutes remaining. Keselowski went to the top of the board with a lap of 123.736mph on his sixth lap. Michael McDowell (123.736mph) vaulted over the No. 2 Ford, then Logano regained the top spot with a lap of 123.920mph. Keselowski (124.103mph) leap-frogged over his teammate and was coming around Turn 5 when Danica Patrick spun sideways in front of him with 29 minutes on the clock.

Chase Elliott (123.897mph) was third followed by McDowell, McMurray, Bowyer, Truex, Kahne, Kurt Busch and Harvick rounded out the top-10 single-lap speeds 30-minutes in.

Johnson returned to the track with 25 minutes to go. He ran three laps and moved up to 17th with a top lap of 123.214mph.

“There is no grip in the car,” said 2014 Watkins Glen winner AJ Allmendinger. “I can’t touch the brakes without wheel hopping.” He was 22nd on the board with a lap of 122.946mph.

Kyle Busch took over the top spot with a lap of 124.866mph. Logano, Keselowski, Elliott, McMurray, McDowell, Harvick, Jones, Bowyer and Kenseth held onto the top 10 speeds with 15 minutes left in the session.

Hamlin moved up to second after his 10th lap with a speed of 124.546mph. Martin Truex Jr. (124.508mph) bumped Logano for third with 10-minutes remaining in first practice. On his next (ninth) lap, Truex advanced to P2 with a lap of 124.797mph. Busch’s ninth lap produced a single-lap speed of 125.516mph.

Kurt Busch spun coming into 1 and grazed the wall on his 12th lap. He was 14th-quick with a lap of 123.329mph.

Rookies Jones and Ty Dillon’s 17 laps were the most led during the 55-minute session.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 15 70.270     125.516
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 12 70.675 0.405 0.405 124.797
3 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 13 70.817 0.547 0.142 124.546
4 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 14 70.829 0.559 0.012 124.525
5 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 17 70.862 0.592 0.033 124.467
6 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 15 70.875 0.605 0.013 124.444
7 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 15 71.004 0.734 0.129 124.218
8 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 14 71.145 0.875 0.141 123.972
9 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 14 71.217 0.947 0.072 123.847
10 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 16 71.281 1.011 0.064 123.736
11 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 15 71.302 1.032 0.021 123.699
12 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 11 71.307 1.037 0.005 123.691
13 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 11 71.467 1.197 0.160 123.414
14 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 12 71.516 1.246 0.049 123.329
15 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 12 71.544 1.274 0.028 123.281
16 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 15 71.556 1.286 0.012 123.260
17 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 15 71.566 1.296 0.010 123.243
18 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 11 71.571 1.301 0.005 123.234
19 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 13 71.587 1.317 0.016 123.207
20 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 10 71.674 1.404 0.087 123.057
21 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 11 71.715 1.445 0.041 122.987
22 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 14 71.738 1.468 0.023 122.947
23 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 14 71.739 1.469 0.001 122.946
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 16 71.745 1.475 0.006 122.935
25 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 12 71.778 1.508 0.033 122.879
26 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 12 71.935 1.665 0.157 122.611
27 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 17 72.120 1.850 0.185 122.296
28 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 15 72.140 1.870 0.020 122.262
29 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 11 72.279 2.009 0.139 122.027
30 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 11 72.358 2.088 0.079 121.894
31 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 10 72.483 2.213 0.125 121.684
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 19 72.865 2.595 0.382 121.046
33 33 united_states Boris Said  Chevrolet 5 73.076 2.806 0.211 120.696
34 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 4 73.821 3.551 0.745 119.478
35 15 canada Gary Klutt  Chevrolet 9 73.951 3.681 0.130 119.268
36 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 2 74.119 3.849 0.168 118.998
37 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota   0.000     0.000
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Watkins Glen
Location Watkins Glen International
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report