Only one of the right remaining Chase drivers still in contention for the Sprint Cup Series championship finished Saturday morning’s practice at Texas in the top-10 on the speed chart.
Joey Logano was the top performing Chase driver in the session, posting the ninth-fastest speed. Rookie Ryan Blaney posted the fastest average lap speed, with a lap at 188.515 mph.
A.J. Allmendinger was second-fastest, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third, Casey Mears was fourth and Paul Menard completed the top-five.
Michael McDowell was sixth-fastest, Chase Elliott was seventh, Trevor Bayne was eighth and Greg Biffle was 10th.
The remainder of the Chase field ended up 16th or worse.
Last week’s winner, Jimmie Johnson, was 16th-fastest, Carl Edwards was 22nd fastest, Kyle Busch was 23rd, Matt Kenseth 24th, Kurt Busch 29th, Kevin Harvick 30th and Denny Hamlin was 31st.
In contrast to Friday’s practice session where only two drivers ran at least 10 consecutive laps, 26 drivers did in Saturday morning’s practice.
Edwards led the way in that group with an average lap speed at 183.137 mph, followed by pole-winner Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer.
Kyle Busch’s team continued to work to fine-tune his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Busch only got four laps of practice in on Friday after wrecking his primary car on his first lap on the track.
Busch’s teammate, Hamlin, also picked up some unwanted news on Saturday: Because his team earned its fourth written warning this weekend for an inspection violation, Hamlin’s team lost pit stall selection for Sunday’s race.
Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne also picked up their fourth written warnings and lose pit stall selection for Sunday’s race.
|3||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||44||28.747||0.102||0.101||187.846|