Paul Menard leads Friday Cup practice at Pocono

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Paul Menard leads Friday Cup practice at Pocono
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jul 29, 2016, 4:47 PM

First practice was delayed for 25 minutes at Pocono Raceway on Friday due to weepers on the 2.5-mile track.

Paul Menard established the top speed of 177.438mph on his fifth lap, 48 minutes into the session.

Menard’s Chevy held off a trio of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s over the final 15 minutes of practice. Denny Hamlin’s best lap of 177.406mph was established after 10 of 12 laps. Last weekend’s Brickyard 400 winner Kyle Busch was third (177.019mph) followed by Carl Edwards (176.977 mph) and the Chevy of Kevin Harvick (176.620mph).

Following his 10-lap run, Edwards radioed to his crew of the changes to the No. 19 car, “We’re going to be just fine. Really good job, good changes.”

Martin Truex Jr. was sixth with a lap of 176.602mph with Joey Logano — the top Ford at 176.495mph — rookie Chase Elliott (176.484mph), Ryan Newman (176.391mph) and Austin Dillon (175.984mph) rounding out the top 10 in single lap runs.

It was a strong turn around for Richard Childress Racing, who placed all three of their Chevys in the top 10 after returning to the Tricky Triangle with a new brake package this weekend.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s 22 laps were the most completed on the abbreviated one hour, three minute practice. Stenhouse was one of only two cars to post Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages. He topped the category with a speed of 171.094mph. His best single lap was 171.419mph. Danica Patrick wasn’t nearly as sporty over her 10 laps. Her average was 167.161mph.

Kurt Busch, who won the race here in June, posted a single lap speed of 175.843mph. Jeff Gordon, subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (concussion symptoms), was 22nd on the speed chart with a lap of 174.645mph on his ninth and final lap.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 27  Paul Menard  Chevrolet 7 50.722     177.438
2 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 12 50.731 0.009 0.009 177.406
3 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 14 50.842 0.120 0.111 177.019
4 19  Carl Edwards  Toyota 10 50.854 0.132 0.012 176.977
5 4  Kevin Harvick  Chevrolet 9 50.957 0.235 0.103 176.620
6 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 11 50.962 0.240 0.005 176.602
7 22  Joey Logano  Ford 9 50.993 0.271 0.031 176.495
8 24  Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 8 50.996 0.274 0.003 176.484
9 31  Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 7 51.023 0.301 0.027 176.391
10 3  Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 10 51.141 0.419 0.118 175.984

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Pocono II
Location Pocono Raceway
Drivers Paul Menard
Teams Richard Childress Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report