Truex tops second Michigan practice, Johnson spins
Martin Truex Jr. set the pace at the start — and the finish — of the second practice for the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Truex’s single-lap speed was 198.385mph topped the speed chart on Saturday morning. Kyle Busch was second quick followed by Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Here, like anywhere else this year, it seems like you need to just find a way to balance it – short run speed with the long run speed,” Truex said. “You kind of have to have long run speed to put yourself in position to win and then seems to always come down to short runs and cautions towards the end of the race and you need to be able to go on short runs, so just try to balance those two things out and get as much speed out of the car as we can and these guys do a great job of that, so looking forward to it and seeing what we can do.”
In the early moments of the 55-minute session, Truex Jr. posted the top speed of 196.920mph followed polesitter Kyle Larson (196.775mph), Denny Hamlin (196.587mph), Kyle Busch, Harvick, Jones, Johnson, Blaney, Earnhardt Jr., Logano and Kurt Busch,
Just after the 15-minute mark, Jones eclipsed his Furniture Row Racing teammate with a lap of 197.212mph. But the rookies time atop the speed chart was short-lived as Kyle Busch bumped him with a lap of 197.938mph.
Half-way into practice, Kyle Busch remained the fastest in single-run laps, Blaney moved up to P2 (197.320mph) with Jones, Earnhardt (196.942mph), Truex, Logano, Harvick, Larson and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10.
Johnson jumped up to second at the 32-minute mark with a lap of 197.341mph but on his next lap, he lost control of the No. 48 Chevy coming off of Turn 4 barely missing his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne who was running right behind him. Johnson avoided the wall but came through the grass and damaged the splitter. The team elected to go to a backup car.
“I got loose into Turn 3 and fought it for a long time and unfortunately came around,” Johnson said. “Did a nice job of keeping it off the outside wall, but came back down the hill and into the grass and the front end dug in pretty good. I’m pretty surprised the guys feel like the damage isn’t too bad and they can get that stuff pulled back out and get the shape of the body back.
“So, we are out for the rest of this practice and we will get back on-track for the second one. Not the way we wanted to start the day, but it is what it is.”
NASCAR yellow-flagged practice but cars were back on the track 36 minutes to go and Kyle Busch leading the session in single-lap runs.
With 15-minutes remaining Truex vaulted to the top of the speed chart with a speed of 198.385mph. Kyle Busch was second followed by Johnson, Blaney and Keselowski. Five minutes later, Harvick moved up to fifth with a lap of 197.287mph.
Kyle Busch (196.876mph) had the fastest Best 10 consecutive lap averages. Larson was second (196.095mph) followed by Hamlin (195.901mph), Jones (195.714mph) and Harvick (195.684mph). Johnson, Earnhardt, McMurray, Kahne and Suarez rounded out the top 10 speeds in the category.
Four cars were penalized with 15-minute holds:
Jamie McMurray for being late to pre-qualifying inspection.
Ty Dillon, Ryan Newman and Matt DiBenedetto for failing pre-qualifying inspection multiple times.
|1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||22||36.293||198.385|
|10||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||34||36.556||0.263||0.017||196.958|
|17||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||17||36.751||0.458||0.041||195.913|
|27||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Ford||27||37.047||0.754||0.033||194.348|
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About this article
|Location||Michigan International Speedway|
|Drivers||Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr.|
|Teams||Furniture Row Racing|