Truex tops opening Cup practice at Michigan
Martin Truex Jr. led the first practice at Michigan International Speedway on Friday.
The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing car completed nine laps with a top time of 35.724-seconds (201.545 mph).
Ten cars broke toe 200-plus mile mark starting with Kyle Larson, who posted a lap of 200.317mph (35.943sec), 30 minutes into the 85-minute session. Fifteen minutes later, Truex laid down a lap of 201.545 mph after seven circuits.
Jimmie Johnson was second quick with a lap of 201.134mph. Joey Logano was the top Ford with a speed of 200.966mph, followed by Ryan Blaney (200.775mph), Larson (200.730mph), Kyle Busch (200.714mph), Chase Elliott (200.585mph), Kasey Kahne (200.457mph), Tony Stewart (200.189mph) and Carl Edwards (200.133mph).
“It came in fast, just a little too snug,” Kahne said after completing 22 laps.
Alex Bowman, filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., ran 24 laps, the most of the session. He was 14th fastest with a lap of 199.264mph.
At the 19-minute mark, NASCAR called a caution for debris in the middle of Turn 3. Johnson was leading the session at that time with a lap of 199.678mph after running just one lap. The track re-opened four minutes later.
With 10 minutes remaining in first practice, Jeffrey Earnhardt flat-sided his car in Turn 2 on his 17th lap. His best run was 190.340mph, 37th quick. Teams had just under six minutes to make last minute adjustments prior to qualifying.
Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Paul Menard and Matt DiBenedetto were docked 15-minutes for a variety of a variety of infractions. Edwards and the No. 19 team were late for qualifying last week at Bristol which resulted in his penalty.
“Looking back at the past three races at MIS we had the speed to get a victory or two,” said Truex. “We came close twice last year with a pair of third-place finishes and back in June we were once again competitive -- qualified second, led laps before spinning while passing a lapped car. That was another opportunity that we let slip away.”
Truex finished 12th in the June race on the two-mile track.
Larson topped the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average category with a speed of 194.178mph. Tony Stewart was the only other driver to make a consecutive 10-lap run and posted an average of 193.710mph.
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