Larson tops opening Michigan Cup practice with 200mph lap
First practice ended up being the Kyle and Kyle show — again.
Initially, the Monster Energy Cup Series was chasing Martin Truex Jr. at Michigan International Speedway in first practice on Friday — but Kyle Larson was able to top the No. 78 car with less than 10 minutes left in the session.
Larson’s lap of 200.798mph was the first to join Truex in exceeding the 200-mile-per-hour mark. With five minutes to go, Kyle Busch joined the 200-plus club with a lap of 200.619mph for second quick in single-lap speeds.
With two minutes to go in the session, Landon Cassill wadded up the No. 34 Ford as he backed into the Turn 2 wall. Cassill was then evaluated and released from the Infield Care Center at MIS.
Joey Logano (200.479mph) was third followed by Truex, Johnson, McMurray, Elliott, Bowyer, Blaney and Harvick. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace’s 28 laps were the most completed during his second weekend in the Cup series.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. set the early pace with a lap of 197.325mph. At the 15-minute mark, Truex Jr. jumped to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 197.639mph. Five minutes later, Ryan Blaney’s lap of 197.395mph moved him up to second.
Kyle Busch was the next driver to top the chart after running 198.374mph 20 minutes into the session followed by Truex, Blaney, Earnhardt and Jamie McMurray (197.055mph). Clint Bowyer (196.996mph), Joey Logano (196.963mph), Kyle Larson (196.861mph), Kevin Harvick (196.623mph) and Jimmie Johnson (196.469mph) rounded out the top 10 single-lap speeds.
With an hour remaining in first practice, Wallace’s 15 laps were the most completed on the two-mile track. His top lap was 192.457mph.
Thirty minutes in, Harvick leapfrogged up to third-quick with a lap of 198.189mph. As teams switched over to race trim, Jimmie Johnson took the top spot (199.983mph). With 35 minutes to go,Truex topped the 200 mile-per-hour mark with a speed of 200.094mph in his fifth lap. Johnson held onto second followed by McMurray (199.463mph), Chase Elliott (199.291mph) and Kasey Kahne (198.906mph).
One hour into the 85-minute session, Truex’s lap held up for first followed by Johnson, Blaney (199.545mph) McMurray, Elliott, Earnhardt, Kahne, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski (109.385mph) and Harvick.
With 20-minutes to go, Larson moved up to ninth with a lap of 196.681mph.
“I can’t tell if the change hurt me in (turns) one and two or if I over-committed,” says Keselowski, who remained 10th on the speed chart.
Bowyer’s Q-run elevated him to third quick with a lap of 199.606mph with 15 minutes to go. Elliott jumped up to fourth (199.772mph) on his flyer run.
“I thought that was slightly better,” Elliott said.
Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin were the only two drivers to qualify for 10 Consecutive Lap Averages. Busch’s 196.591mph run led the category. Hamlin’s speed was 194.626mph.
|4||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||9||35.983||0.126||0.069||200.094|
|12||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||22||36.143||0.286||0.019||199.209|
|21||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||15||36.781||0.924||0.083||195.753|
|31||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Ford||28||37.132||1.275||0.044||193.903|
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About this article
|Location||Michigan International Speedway|
|Teams||Chip Ganassi Racing|