Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stopped the Bow-Tie Brigade at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in first practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, Stenhouse Jr. jumped to the top of the leader board with a speed of 186.384mph (29.745-sec).
Kyle Larson was second followed by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, William Byron, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.
Wallace set the quick pace early after a two-lap run. He posted a fast lap of 185.834mph which held after the first 15 minutes. During a drive with team owner Richard Petty at a local Coca-Cola appearance, Wallace asked the King what his expectations were for the year.
“I wanted to see what his take was and he says looking back on last year, they knew where they stood, 15th to 20th more so on the back side of that,” Wallace said. “And he wants to improve to a top 8 to a top 12 team. And I’m like, okay, that’s right in the ballpark I was saying. I was saying top 10 to top 15, so he says yes there are going to be days where we are better than that, and there’s going to be days when we’re worse than that. But, we all have to keep in once piece and bring it home and let us work on it and not get behind.”
Ty Dillon was second-quick (185.648mph) in that first run followed by Bowman, Byron, Bowyer, Newman, Almirola, Menard, Allmendinger and Johnson.
After the first 30 minutes, Brad Keselowski and Harvick 17 laps—the most during the session. Only 30 drivers had posted laps.
Thirty-five minutes into the session, Larson topped Wallace’s speed with a lap of 185.915mph. Ty Dillon fell to third followed by Bowman, Byron, Bowyer, Newman, Almirola, Menard and Allmendinger.
Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick’s 19 laps each were the most completed at the 45-minute mark. The top 10 speeds remained the same followed by Johnson, Chris Buescher, Erik Jones, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Denny Hamlin.
Thirty-five cars posted times after the first hour. Chevrolet drivers held the top-five speeds. Bowyer in a Ford ran sixth while Jones’ lap of 182.850mph was P15— the best lap for a Toyota. Johnson’s 20 circuits were the first completed in practice.
Stenhouse vaulted over Larson with a lap of 186.384mph at the one hour, 12-minute mark. Wallace dropped to third followed by Ty Dillon, Bowman, Hamlin, Harvick, Byron, Logano and Martin Truex Jr.
|1||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||19||29.745||186.384|
|3||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Chevrolet||16||29.833||0.088||0.013||185.834|
|10||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||7||30.037||0.292||0.009||184.572|