Truex leads final practice at Loudon, Logano forced to sit out session
Martin Truex Jr. topped final practice at New Hampshire with a lap of 131.647mph.
Truex completed 27 laps despite an abbreviated session for the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team which served a 30-minute penalty due to failing inspection prior to Saturday.
Kevin Harvick posted the second-fastest single-lap speed followed by Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson (in a back up car), Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.
Kyle Busch set the early pace in Happy Hour with a lap of 131.451mph in the first two minutes. Larson, who finished second here in July after starting from the rear of the field, ran second (131.447mph) followed by Blaney (131.302mph), Clint Bowyer (131.008mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (130.878mph).
“We’ve got decent speed,” Blaney said. “I thought our speed on the short run was pretty good and we ran not a ton of laps in a row, but I thought our long-run speed was OK. It’s just a matter of preparing for the race track changing.”
Four minutes in, Denny Hamlin bumped Earnhardt out of the top five with a lap of 130.396mph. Kenseth (130.869mph) ran seventh followed by Kurt Busch (130.864mph), Keselowski (130.864mph) and Trevor Bayne (130.389mph).
Twenty-four drivers completed laps in final practice in the first 10-minutes. Larson topped the board with a lap of 131.497mph followed by Kyle Busch, Blaney, Earnhardt, Bowyer, Hamlin, Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Kahne, Austin Dillon, Bayne, AJ Allmendinger, Chris Buescher and Paul Menard.
NASCAR released the 15-minute practice holds: Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, Ty Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, Matt DiBenedetto, David Ragan and Jimmie Johnson for failing pre-race inspection at New Hampshire.
Larson held the top spot once the cars were released. Harvick was the only driver to crack the top-five with a speed of 131.488mph on his fourth lap, which was good enough for second. Harvick bumped Larson on his sixth lap with a speed of 131.633mph. Three minutes after being released, Johnson jumped up to fifth (131.121mph) after six laps.
Following the first 20-minutes, Harvick was leading the sessions followed by Larson, Kyle Busch, Blaney, Johnson, Earnhardt, Bowyer, Hamlin, Keselowski and Kenseth. Kurt Busch, Kahne, Austin Dillon, Bayne, Menard, Patrick, Ty Dillon, Newman, Allmendinger and Buescher rounded out the top 20.
Harvick led the top-five speeds at the 25-minute mark followed by Kyle Busch, Larson, Blaney, Johnson, Earnhardt, Bowyer, Hamlin, Kahne and Keselowski. Elliott, Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon and Bayne completed the top-15 single-lap speeds.
Ty Dillon hit the wall and the team was forced to pull out the back-up No. 13 Chevy. He was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Thirty minutes in, the Kyle’s had both completed a session-high 35 laps.
Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr., were released from their 30-minute holds for failing pre-race inspection three times at Chicagoland. Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones joined the session after their timeout was lifted. Both the Nos. 19 and 77 Toyotas were busted twice at Chicagoland for failing pre-race inspection and twice at New Hampshire for failing pre-qualifying inspection.
In four laps, Truex vaulted to P3 with a lap of 131.501mph. Suarez raced up to third in the first five minutes. He bumped Truex for third with a lap of 131.506mph after five of six laps.
Truex posted the fastest speed 45-minutes into the session after 16 laps (131.647mph). Harvick was second followed by Kyle Busch, Suarez and Larson, who had completed a session-high 69 laps. Blaney, Johnson, Earnhardt, Hamlin and Bowyer rounded out the top 10.
Joey Logano, who served a 50-minute penalty on pit road in 76-degree weather, rode around the Magic Mile as NASCAR waved the red flag signaling the end of practice.
Logano’s team failed pre-qualifying inspection four times on Friday. He never made a lap in time trials and will start from the rear for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300.
|1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||27||28.932||131.647|
|8||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||48||29.050||0.118||0.002||131.112|
|22||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||59||29.313||0.381||0.061||129.936|
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About this article
|Location||New Hampshire Motor Speedway|
|Drivers||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Teams||Furniture Row Racing|