Pole-winner Erik Jones fastest in final Cup practice at Las Vegas

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Pole-winner Erik Jones fastest in final Cup practice at Las Vegas
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Sep 15, 2018, 8:36 PM

Erik Jones heads into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener on Sunday as the pole winner and fastest in final practice.

Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry DeWalt
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry DeWalt
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry DeWalt

Jones, who won the pole Friday for Sunday’s South Point 400, set the pace early in Saturday’s final practice, posting an average lap speed of 181.251 mph early in the 50-minute session.

“It is slick. The track has had more grip than I thought it was going to have, thankfully, which has been nice,” Jones said. “I mean 400 laps is going to be really slick – especially if it’s hot as it’s going to be.

“That’s what makes it fun. That’s why we want to race at this level.”

Ryan Blaney ended up second fastest (181.238 mph) and Alex Bowman was third (181.202 mph). Brad Keselowski was fourth and Ryan Newman, who was fastest in Saturday’s first practice, completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray.

Jones also had the fastest average lap speed among those who ran at least 10 consecutive laps (178.025 mph). Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Blaney and Aric Almirola filled out the top-five in that category.


Take a virtual lap around Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the No. 78 Toyota Camry of Martin Truex Jr., courtesy of NASCAR Heat 3, which you can order now:


Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 42 29.793     181.251
2 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 36 29.795 0.002 0.002 181.238
3 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 39 29.801 0.008 0.006 181.202
4 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 45 29.818 0.025 0.017 181.099
5 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 38 29.871 0.078 0.053 180.777
6 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 42 29.887 0.094 0.016 180.681
7 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 48 29.912 0.119 0.025 180.530
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 52 29.995 0.202 0.083 180.030
9 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 43 30.026 0.233 0.031 179.844
10 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 44 30.029 0.236 0.003 179.826
11 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 37 30.056 0.263 0.027 179.665
12 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 43 30.061 0.268 0.005 179.635
13 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 45 30.065 0.272 0.004 179.611
14 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 48 30.079 0.286 0.014 179.527
15 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 52 30.095 0.302 0.016 179.432
16 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 30 30.101 0.308 0.006 179.396
17 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 39 30.138 0.345 0.037 179.176
18 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 44 30.145 0.352 0.007 179.134
19 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 45 30.175 0.382 0.030 178.956
20 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 38 30.188 0.395 0.013 178.879
21 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 39 30.307 0.514 0.119 178.177
22 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 39 30.334 0.541 0.027 178.018
23 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 32 30.343 0.550 0.009 177.965
24 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 36 30.400 0.607 0.057 177.632
25 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 17 30.409 0.616 0.009 177.579
26 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 26 30.523 0.730 0.114 176.916
27 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 43 30.589 0.796 0.066 176.534
28 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 41 30.627 0.834 0.038 176.315
29 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 39 30.690 0.897 0.063 175.953
30 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 15 30.839 1.046 0.149 175.103
31 99 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 11 30.863 1.070 0.024 174.967
32 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 29 30.895 1.102 0.032 174.786
33 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 20 30.981 1.188 0.086 174.300
34 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 27 31.304 1.511 0.323 172.502
35 96 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 24 31.508 1.715 0.204 171.385
36 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 21 31.526 1.733 0.018 171.287
37 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 26 31.551 1.758 0.025 171.151
38 7 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 4 31.853 2.060 0.302 169.529
39 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Ford 13 32.117 2.324 0.264 168.135
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Las Vegas II
Drivers Erik Jones
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report