Rookie Chase Elliott quickest in final Cup practice
With less than 10 minutes remaining in Happy Hour, rookie Chase Elliott jumped to the top of the speed chart at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"The drive off it better, but we made the corner too lazy with the nose," said Elliott early in his run. By the end of the session, Elliott felt the team had improved the balance on the No. 24 Chevy compared to the second practice.
Elliott bumped the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin (131.302 mph) and Matt Kenseth (131.044 mph) in the closing stages of final practice.
“Nice work,” the No. 11 crew told Hamlin following the session. “We’re going to kick some ass tomorrow.”
Kevin Harvick, who claimed the final changes to his car made it “harder to drive” was fourth with a speed of 130.941 mph followed by Kyle Busch (130.891 mph), Brad Keselowski (130.720 mph), polesitter Jimmie Johnson (130.635 mph), Carl Edwards (130.590 mph), Austin Dillon (130.434 mph) and Kasey Kahne 130.407 mph).
Edwards, who is looking for his first win at the Magic Mile in his 24th start, was fastest in the second session.
“I think the car is good, but the track is changing,” said Edwards. “When I’m in the middle of the weekend, I never feel like I’m good enough. But when I look back at the practices and see we led certain categories, it all makes sense. Right now we have speed. We just have to hope it holds up for tomorrow. Right now I think we’re pretty good.”
Harvick led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average category with a speed of 130.215. Edwards (129.945 mph) was second followed by Kenseth (129.891 mph), Kahne (129.730 mph), Johnson (129.701 mph), Kyle Busch (129.672 mph), Keselowski (129.665 mph), Hamlin (129.567 mph), Joey Logano (129.489 mph) and Kyle Larson (129.334 mph).
Larson, who was 11th quick in single-car runs, told the team after Happy Hour, “Our entry is a million times better this practice.”
Kurt Busch, who has three wins at the track, ran 60 laps — the most of the session.
Toyotas top practice again with Edwards leading the charge
Ryan Blaney not letting Chase setback change the way he drives
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|Location||New Hampshire Motor Speedway|