Larson leads opening Cup practice at NHMS, Hamlin crashes

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Larson leads opening Cup practice at NHMS, Hamlin crashes
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 14, 2017, 5:09 PM

Kyle Larson topped first practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday with a single-lap run of 133.971mph.

The absence of crew chief Chad Johnston, who was suspended for three races after failing post-race suspension following Kentucky Speedway, had no effect on the No. 42 car’s speed.

Martin Truex Jr. (133.217mph) was second followed by Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, rookie Erik Jones and Kurt Busch.

Aric Almirola was the first car on the track. He returned to competition at New Hampshire following an eight-race recovery period after fracturing his T5 vertebra following a multi-car wreck at Kansas Speedway on May 13.

After 10 minutes, 13 cars completed initial runs with Erik Jones posting the fastest lap followed by AJ Allmendinger, Almirola, Logano, Harvick, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, David Ragan, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon.

Before the 15 minute mark, called a caution for fluid on the Magic Mile.

When the track returned to competition, Kevin Harvick (129.652mph) shot to the top of the speed chart — but it was short-lived. Ryan Blaney (130.220mph) passed him followed by Logano (130.470mph).

“The exit is a little bit free but I’m having a hard time committing,” said McMurray, who was eighth after five laps. “Definitely free exit.”

NASCAR released drivers serving 15-minute practice for being late to pre-race inspection at Kentucky Speedway. Landon Cassill, Gray Gaulding, Cole Whitt and Michael McDowell joined the session.

Twenty-five minutes into the session, Logano remained on top followed by Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger and Kurt Busch.

Reports of sprinkles on the drivers’ windshields started just before the 30-minute mark

After Almirola completed his second run and 17 laps, he lined up 24th.

“Not any better than the first run, “I’m loose into (Turn) 3 and I need more turn.”

Larson (131.067mph), Hamlin, McMurray, Logano, Blaney, Bowyer, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10 after the first 30 minutes.

Forty-five minutes into the 85-minute session, Kyle Busch capture the top spot with a lap of 132.665mph. Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.

After the first hour, Larson returned to the top with a qualifying run of 133.712mph. Kyle Busch, McMurray, Kahne, Truex, Kenseth, Allmendinger, Newman, Keselowski and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.

Hamlin wrecked on a mock qualifying coming out of Turn 4 after one hour and eight minutes into first practice to ignite the second caution. Hamlin destroyed the front end of the car after his nose hit the wall.

With 15 minutes remaining, Larson remained the fastest car followed by Truex, Busch, McMurray, Kahne, Kenseth, Allmendinger, Newman, Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 26 28.430     133.971
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 14 28.591 0.161 0.161 133.217
3 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 12 28.607 0.177 0.016 133.142
4 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 21 28.672 0.242 0.065 132.840
5 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 17 28.703 0.273 0.031 132.697
6 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 13 28.801 0.371 0.098 132.245
7 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 31 28.808 0.378 0.007 132.213
8 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 13 28.816 0.386 0.008 132.177
9 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 29 28.828 0.398 0.012 132.122
10 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 19 28.844 0.414 0.016 132.048
11 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 27 28.848 0.418 0.004 132.030
12 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 33 28.853 0.423 0.005 132.007
13 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 30 28.895 0.465 0.042 131.815
14 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 32 28.926 0.496 0.031 131.674
15 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 24 28.930 0.500 0.004 131.656
16 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 23 28.930 0.500 0.000 131.656
17 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 31 28.934 0.504 0.004 131.638
18 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 21 28.937 0.507 0.003 131.624
19 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 12 28.977 0.547 0.040 131.442
20 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 30 28.999 0.569 0.022 131.342
21 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 33 29.051 0.621 0.052 131.107
22 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 26 29.088 0.658 0.037 130.941
23 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 25 29.091 0.661 0.003 130.927
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 29 29.092 0.662 0.001 130.923
25 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 22 29.119 0.689 0.027 130.801
26 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 25 29.140 0.710 0.021 130.707
27 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 20 29.145 0.715 0.005 130.685
28 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 24 29.155 0.725 0.010 130.640
29 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 22 29.223 0.793 0.068 130.336
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 24 29.328 0.898 0.105 129.869
31 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 13 29.330 0.900 0.002 129.860
32 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 22 29.344 0.914 0.014 129.798
33 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 38 29.446 1.016 0.102 129.349
34 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 31 29.725 1.295 0.279 128.135
35 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 18 29.833 1.403 0.108 127.671
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 18 29.927 1.497 0.094 127.270
37 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 13 29.931 1.501 0.004 127.253
38 83 united_states Ryan Sieg  Toyota 22 29.958 1.528 0.027 127.138
39 51 united_states Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 17 30.643 2.213 0.685 124.296
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