Stenhouse tops speed charts in first Talladega practice

The No. 17 Ford leads Sprint Cup session with a lap of 200.780mph.

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led first practice on Friday with a time of 48.213-seconds, 200.780 mph. 

The Roush Fenway Racing driver completed 32 laps during the exercise. Michael Waltrip, Chris Buescher, Denny Hamlin and David Ragan rounded out the top five. 

Stenhouse has been extremely consistent at the 2.66-mile track despite not qualifying for the race last October. In three Sprint Cup starts, Stenhouse has a remarkable average finish of 8.7. He said entering the event that he was “looking forward to Talladega after seeing the speed our cars had at Daytona earlier this season.”

“We need a win to make the Chase and I think that Talladega is great opportunity for us to be able to get that win,” said Stenhouse. If we can stay out of trouble and avoid the notorious ‘big one’, I think we can leave Talladega with a solid finish.”

For Ragan, it's his final start with Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 18 Toyota prior to joining Michael Waltrip Racing next weekend at Kansas Speedway. Ragan's last Cup win was earned in this race in 2013. 

Danica Patrick, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Trevor Bayne and Michael McDowell rounded out the top 10. 

Many drivers worked on single-car race runs in anticipation of qualifying on Saturday. 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Talladega
Track Talladega Superspeedway
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Denny Hamlin , Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Article type Practice report