Friday was the first day of on-track activity for the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup teams. The Nationwide cars were on track for their only two practice sessions of the weekend while the Cup teams hit the track just once. When the red and black flags waived a the end of the sessions, David Ragan was quickest in the first session for the Nationwide series while Ty Dillon was at the top of the charts in the final session. On the Cup side of the ledger it was Matt Kenseth who led the charge.
Ragan was best in practice one for the Nationwide teams with a 49.712 second lap at a speed of 181.043 mph. He was followed by Dillon, who tripped the clock at 49.743 seconds and a speed of 180.930 mph. The top two drivers were the only ones who timed in under the 50 second barrier. Third on the sheet was Dylan Kwasniewski at 50.018 seconds and a speed of 179.935 mph. Brendan Gaughan ran a 179.856 mph lap in 50.040 seconds to slot in fourth in the practice while Paul Menard went 179.817 in 50.051 seconds to round out the Top 5. Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Regan Smith, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson completed the Top 10.
In the second and final round of Nationwide practice, Dillon backed up his efforts from the first practice as the only competitor to eclipse the 50 second barrier in both sessions. Dillon’s 49.932 second lap was 180.245 mph. Brian Scott muscled a 50.396 second lap to best everyone besides Dillon with a speed of 178.588 mph. Busch, the Nationwide series track record holder turned in a 178.338 mph lap in 50.466 seconds for third fastest. Harvick clocked in one hundredth of a second slower than Busch at 50.476 seconds and 178.303 mph. Rounding out the Top 5 was Matt Kenseth who cranked off a 177.746 mph lap in 50.634 seconds. The remainder of the Top 10 was comprised of Logano, Menard, Smith, Trevor Bayne and Ragan.
The Cup practice saw a mad dash at the beginning of the session followed by a steady flow of cars the rest of the session. Playing off of his success in the Nationwide practice, Kenseth crossed the line fastest at a 48.313 second clip. That was good for a 186.285 mph lap. Clint Bowyer was equally fast on his first lap on the track, crossing the line in 48.369 seconds at 186.070 mph. Brad Keselowski was third quick of the Sprint Cup series when he turned a lap of 185.939 mph in 46.405 seconds. Jimmie Johnson took two laps in the session before his best time of 48.479 seconds clocked him in at 185.647 mph. Finishing off the Top 5 in the Cup series was Larson. He utilized his knowledge from the Nationwide practices to muscle his No. 42 ride across the line in 48.532 seconds with a speed of 185.445. The final five in the Top 10 were Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Logano, Marcuos Ambrose and Harvick.
Saturday’s schedule of events kicks off with the final practice for the Cup series at 9:00 AM. The Nationwide teams are on track for qualifying at 12:10 while the Cup teams qualify at 2:10. The final activity for the day is the Lilly Diabetes 250 for the Nationwide series.