Ryan Blaney leads opening Texas practice with near 200mph lap

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Ryan Blaney leads opening Texas practice with near 200mph lap
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Nov 3, 2017, 6:45 PM

Ryan Blaney barely missed the 200-mile-per-hour mark in first practice at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday.

On his sixth-run of the 85-minute session, Blaney posted a single-lap speed of 199.933mph breaking the previous track pole-record set by Matt Kenseth in the 2014 AAA Texas 500. The top qualifying track record was set by Tony Stewart (200.111mph) in the second round of the same qualifying session.

Denny Hamlin was second-quick followed by Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kenseth, Chaes Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson. 

Joey Gase’s 34 laps were the most completed during the session.

Kenseth (191.076mph) topped the speed chart in the opening minutes of the session, but Joey Logano bumped the No. 20 Toyota with a lap of 191.20mph.  Earnhardt was the next driver to vault to the top on his first run with a single-lap speed of 192.871mph.

On his fifth lap, Ryan Blaney cruised to the top spot (193.292mph) only to be knocked off by Chase Elliott’s lap of 193.771mph. 

After the first 10 minutes, 28 drivers had posted laps with Elliott P1 followed by Larson (193.750mph), Blaney, Kurt Busch, Earnhardt, Keselowski (194.602mph), Bowyer (193.882mph), Erik Jones (194.049mph), Landon Cassill (191.211mph) and Logano. 

Jimmie Johnson attempted to post a lap but had no fuel pressure with the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy and had to return to the garage.

Larson posted the fastest lap (195.858mph) on his second run. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., jumped to P1 with a lap of 196.628mph following his first five-lap run just before the 25-minute mark. Larson remained second followed by Blaney, Elliott, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Logano (194.532mph) and Kasey Kahne (194.510mph).

Thirty minutes into the session, Kyle Busch moved up to second (196.249mph) but was bumped by Truex (196.471mph). Larson dropped to fourth followed by Blaney, Elliott, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch and Keselowski. Logano ran 11th followed by Kahne, Jones, Harvick, Bowyer, AJ Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon.

Johnson remained in the garage as the team worked to replace his fuel cell. After the 35-minute mark, Johnson attempted to make his second run but reported he had single-digit numbers on his fuel pressure gauge. 

“It’s fine in the garage, it’s just having trouble getting going, going wide open,” Johnson radioed to the crew. “I don’t know if it’s the throttle position or what.”

Stenhouse remained atop the pylon after 40 minutes of practice. Kenseth (197.477mph)

moved back to second after his fourth lap. Truex, Busch, Elliott, Larson, Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Earnhardt and Kurt Busch completed the top 10 as drivers worked on qualifying runs.

Kenseth posted the quick-speed of 198.749mph before the 50-minute mark. Truex was second (198.690mph) followed by Blaney (198.413mph), Stenhouse, McMurray (197.795mph), Earnhardt (197.571mph), Kahne (196.807mph), Allmendinger (196.738mph), Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.

Kurt Busch posted the fastest lap (199.181mph) after the first hour of practice — but was topped  by Blaney’s mock qualifying run of 199.498mph. Johnson still had yet to post a lap as the team continued to work on the fuel system issue.

With 15 minutes remaining, Blaney led the session followed by Kurt Busch, Kenseth, Truex, Stenhouse, Elliott, Harvick, McMurray, Earnhardt and Keselowski. Moments later, Truex returned to third-fastest (198.939mph).At one hour, 11 minutes, Johnson headed out to pit road for the third time. Two minutes later, Johnson posted his first lap. He was 27th on the speed chart (193.868mph) after his shake down lap and returned to the garage with 10 minutes to go in the session. Johnson returned to the track with five minutes to go. He moved up to 19th on his third lap — 196.428mph.

Denny Hamlin climbed to second in the closing minutes with a lap of 199.196mph.

Daniel Hemric, who was subbing for Paul Menard, was 28th-quick (195.178mph)after his first full Monster Energy Cup Series practice session. Hemric will also qualify the No. 27 Chevy while Menard is on maternity leave. Menard is expected to return for Happy Hour and Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 18 27.009     199.933
2 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 21 27.109 0.100 0.100 199.196
3 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 13 27.111 0.102 0.002 199.181
4 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 11 27.142 0.133 0.031 198.954
5 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 10 27.170 0.161 0.028 198.749
6 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 25 27.170 0.161 0.000 198.749
7 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 12 27.227 0.218 0.057 198.333
8 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 22 27.259 0.250 0.032 198.100
9 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 16 27.269 0.260 0.010 198.027
10 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 21 27.290 0.281 0.021 197.875
11 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 16 27.301 0.292 0.011 197.795
12 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 19 27.327 0.318 0.026 197.607
13 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 18 27.331 0.322 0.004 197.578
14 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 18 27.344 0.335 0.013 197.484
15 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 13 27.380 0.371 0.036 197.224
16 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 9 27.408 0.399 0.028 197.023
17 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 22 27.438 0.429 0.030 196.807
18 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 24 27.445 0.436 0.007 196.757
19 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 3 27.491 0.482 0.046 196.428
20 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 21 27.500 0.491 0.009 196.364
21 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 25 27.504 0.495 0.004 196.335
22 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 25 27.507 0.498 0.003 196.314
23 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 20 27.610 0.601 0.103 195.581
24 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 18 27.635 0.626 0.025 195.404
25 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 12 27.637 0.628 0.002 195.390
26 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 25 27.650 0.641 0.013 195.298
27 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 24 27.667 0.658 0.017 195.178
28 27 united_states Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 24 27.705 0.696 0.038 194.911
29 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 22 27.718 0.709 0.013 194.819
30 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 17 27.789 0.780 0.071 194.321
31 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 14 27.870 0.861 0.081 193.757
32 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 16 28.138 1.129 0.268 191.911
33 83 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 9 28.164 1.155 0.026 191.734
34 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 21 28.168 1.159 0.004 191.707
35 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 19 28.205 1.196 0.037 191.455
36 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 13 28.292 1.283 0.087 190.867
37 51 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 15 28.919 1.910 0.627 186.728
38 7 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 34 29.023 2.014 0.104 186.059
39 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 23 29.222 2.213 0.199 184.792
40 66 united_states David Starr  Chevrolet 5 30.239 3.230 1.017 178.577
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Texas II
Location Texas Motor Speedway
Drivers Ryan Blaney
Teams Wood Brothers Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report