Truex leads eventful Cup practice at Sonoma

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Truex leads eventful Cup practice at Sonoma
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Jun 23, 2017, 9:10 PM

Martin Truex Jr. jumped to the top of the speed chart in the final five minutes of first Monster Energy Cup practice at Sonoma Speedway on Friday.

Truex best speed in single-lap runs was 95.587mph after completing 21 laps.

Denny Hamlin was second followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chris Buescher, AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano.

Austin Dillon’s 32 laps were the most led in the session.

Bowyer was the fastest car of 15 cars in the first five minutes of practice with a speed of 93.338mph (76.753-seconds). He was running the same chassis that Tony Stewart won the SaveMart 350 with last year with modifications to accommodate the Ford engines.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. bumped the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford with his lap of 93.514mph (76.609-seconds).

Eight minutes into the session, Billy Johnson spun in his Cup debut with Richard Petty Motorsports. Johnson brought the car to the garage.

Thirty-one cars had established times when NASCAR released drivers with 15-minute practice holds — Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and Ty Dillon. Earnhardt still led the field followed by Bowyer, Truex (92.259mph), AJ Allmendinger (92.844mph) and Larson.

Just before the 30-minute mark, Jones reported he had a left front tire down. He wasn’t sure whether the flat occurred when he locked up his tires. Earnhardt still led the field and the top-five speeds had not changed. Jimmie Johnson was sixth quick with a time of 77.064-seconds followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (77.154-seconds), Trevor Bayne (77.190-seconds), Jamie McMurray (77.214-seconds) and Joey Logano (77.318-seconds).

Rookie Daniel Suarez, who had never been to Sonoma prior, completed 12 laps — the most of the 36 drivers.

The first caution of the practice came out 37 minutes into the session when Ty Dillon ran off course in Turn 2 and sprayed gravel on the course. NASCAR put the track back under green at the 42-minute mark.

After the first hour, Chris Buescher broke into the top-five with a lap of 76.954-seconds. He’d completed 21 circuits. Denny Hamlin vaulted over Larson with a lap of 77.037-seconds for sixth-quick. Larson, Johnson, Stenhouse and Bayne rounded out the top 10.

With 30-minutes remaining in practice, Earnhardt led the 115-minute session followed by Bowyer, Truex, Larson, Buescher, Allmendinger, Hamlin, Johnson, Stenhouse and Bayne. Buescher and Austin Dillon had completed 22 circuits — the most in the first 85 minutes.

Matt Kenseth stalled in Turn 10 with 29 minutes to go to trigger the second caution. Kenseth was 25th on the speed chart and had completed his 11th lap.

At one hour, 22 minutes into practice, Stenhouse bumped Earnhardt with a lap of 93.684mph, 76.470-seconds. With 20 minutes to go, Allmendinger moved up to third with a lap 93.422mph.

“Water temp, 225,” Dinger said. “It’s a little tight when it lands the nose, but it cuts when I need it to cut.”

Hamlin jumped up to P1 with a lap of 94.068mph with less than 15 minutes remaining in the session.

“Yeah, I’m happy with it,” Hamlin said.

Elliott broke into the top 10 with 12 minutes to go. He was 33rd prior to improving his lap to 93.320mph. Bowyer bounced back up to third. Kyle Busch moved up to seventh, followed by Logano, Kahne and Truex.

Elliott spun with eight minutes left in the session.

“I probably flat-spotted the tires,” he radioed to crew chief Alan Gustafson.

There was a different voice over the No. 2 Team Penske radio on Friday. Crew chief Paul Wolfe remained in North Carolina with his wife, Aleah, who just gave birth to their second child, Halle Lane. Brian Wilson will oversee Brad Keselowski’s efforts this weekend. Keselowski was 17th on the speed chart after the first session.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 20 75.740     94.587
2 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 20 76.158 0.418 0.418 94.068
3 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 18 76.470 0.730 0.312 93.684
4 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 22 76.534 0.794 0.064 93.605
5 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 24 76.609 0.869 0.075 93.514
6 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 24 76.615 0.875 0.006 93.506
7 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 19 76.684 0.944 0.069 93.422
8 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 15 76.768 1.028 0.084 93.320
9 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 29 76.804 1.064 0.036 93.276
10 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 26 76.845 1.105 0.041 93.227
11 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 31 76.878 1.138 0.033 93.187
12 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 23 76.893 1.153 0.015 93.168
13 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 27 76.921 1.181 0.028 93.135
14 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 20 76.935 1.195 0.014 93.118
15 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 25 76.979 1.239 0.044 93.064
16 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 31 77.037 1.297 0.058 92.994
17 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 29 77.045 1.305 0.008 92.985
18 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 28 77.066 1.326 0.021 92.959
19 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 25 77.194 1.454 0.128 92.805
20 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 26 77.214 1.474 0.020 92.781
21 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 28 77.412 1.672 0.198 92.544
22 43 united_states Billy Johnson  Ford 14 77.604 1.864 0.192 92.315
23 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 32 77.612 1.872 0.008 92.305
24 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 21 77.746 2.006 0.134 92.146
25 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 13 77.782 2.042 0.036 92.104
26 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 19 77.836 2.096 0.054 92.040
27 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 25 77.883 2.143 0.047 91.984
28 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 11 78.000 2.260 0.117 91.846
29 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 15 78.059 2.319 0.059 91.777
30 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 30 78.067 2.327 0.008 91.767
31 23 israel Alon Day Toyota 16 78.113 2.373 0.046 91.713
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 29 78.134 2.394 0.021 91.689
33 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 15 78.137 2.397 0.003 91.685
34 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 23 78.317 2.577 0.180 91.474
35 33 united_states Boris Said  Chevrolet 4 78.754 3.014 0.437 90.967
36 51 united_states Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 25 81.031 5.291 2.277 88.411
37 15 united_states Kevin O'Connell  Chevrolet 10 81.180 5.440 0.149 88.248
38 55 united_states Tommy Regan  Chevrolet 7 83.869 8.129 2.689 85.419
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Sonoma
Location Sonoma Raceway
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Furniture Row Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report