Ryan Newman tops Chase Elliott in final Darlington practice

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Ryan Newman tops Chase Elliott in final Darlington practice
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Aug 31, 2018, 9:11 PM

Ryan Newman ended up fastest in Friday’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Newman’s posted a best average lap speed of 171.698 mph very early in the 50-minute session. Chase Elliott ended up second (171.512 mph) and Jimmie Johnson third (171.023 mph). They were the only driver to cross eclipse the 171 mph mark.

Kyle Busch was fourth fastest and Kurt Busch completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman.

Newman is still looking for his first win of the season in the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. His best finish this year was sixth at New Hampshire last month.

“Really good balance-wise, end-to-end on the race track,” Newman said of his car over the radio during his last run on the track.

About 20 minutes into the session, Denny Hamlin – who was fastest in Friday’s first practice – scraped the outside wall but the damage didn’t appear to be very serious.

Shortly afterwards, Aric Almirola also made contact with the wall, but his damage on the No. 10 Ford seemed more substantial.

“Got the right side, bad,” Almirola said over his team radio. “I got it bad, I’m telling you.”

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 43 28.641     171.698
2 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 38 28.672 0.031 0.031 171.512
3 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 35 28.754 0.113 0.082 171.023
4 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 46 28.771 0.130 0.017 170.922
5 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 33 28.865 0.224 0.094 170.365
6 6 United States Matt Kenseth  Ford 26 28.920 0.279 0.055 170.041
7 95 United States Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 32 28.949 0.308 0.029 169.871
8 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 35 28.961 0.320 0.012 169.801
9 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 43 28.967 0.326 0.006 169.766
10 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 42 29.014 0.373 0.047 169.491
11 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 24 29.066 0.425 0.052 169.187
12 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 62 29.103 0.462 0.037 168.972
13 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 49 29.110 0.469 0.007 168.932
14 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 45 29.136 0.495 0.026 168.781
15 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 52 29.172 0.531 0.036 168.573
16 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 42 29.174 0.533 0.002 168.561
17 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 23 29.244 0.603 0.070 168.158
18 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 43 29.298 0.657 0.054 167.848
19 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 34 29.300 0.659 0.002 167.836
20 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 43 29.310 0.669 0.010 167.779
21 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 29 29.321 0.680 0.011 167.716
22 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 32 29.332 0.691 0.011 167.653
23 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 26 29.356 0.715 0.024 167.516
24 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 28 29.361 0.720 0.005 167.487
25 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 30 29.376 0.735 0.015 167.402
26 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 27 29.470 0.829 0.094 166.868
27 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 23 29.478 0.837 0.008 166.823
28 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 26 29.529 0.888 0.051 166.535
29 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 25 29.531 0.890 0.002 166.523
30 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 7 29.599 0.958 0.068 166.141
31 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 13 29.638 0.997 0.039 165.922
32 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 18 29.875 1.234 0.237 164.606
33 96 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 24 30.054 1.413 0.179 163.625
34 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 23 30.291 1.650 0.237 162.345
35 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 13 30.646 2.005 0.355 160.465
36 99 United States Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 14 30.655 2.014 0.009 160.418
37 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 12 30.696 2.055 0.041 160.203
38 52 United States J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 12 30.712 2.071 0.016 160.120
39 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 2 31.269 2.628 0.557 157.268
40 23 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 4 31.889 3.248 0.620 154.210
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Darlington
Drivers Ryan Newman , Chase Elliott
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report