After the Team Penske cars dominated at Richmond International Raceway in 2014, the duo has continued to pace the field. Brad Keselowski was the quickest car during Friday’s first practice session, with a time of 21.414 seconds.
In an extended final practice session, Kasey Kahne led the way after putting up the fastest lap of the day late in the going. Kahne’s 21.368-second lap was several tenths off the track record, but was enough to put him at the top of the speed chart.
Winning at Richmond in September, Keselowski looks to score his second consecutive victory at the 0.75-mile track. In Happy Hour, he was 15th quickest in the No. 2 car.
Kahne’s lone victory at Richmond came in 2005, when he was driving for Ray Evernham. Since he joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, he has only one finish inside the top 10.
During the first session, Landon Cassill put up the quickest 10-lap average for Hillman-Smith Racing. Edging out Jimmie Johnson, he was able to keep up the pace in final practice, with a lap time of 21.488 seconds, which put him in seventh.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Johnson and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five in the morning session. Meanwhile, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray and Denny Hamlin were just behind Kahne in Happy Hour.
In a deja vu-type moment, Jeff Green returned to the No. 30, even though it was not with the Richard Childress Racing team he ran for from late in the 2001 season until Richmond in 2003. Running for The Motorsports Group, Green needs to qualify inside of the top 36 to make the race and was 36th in first practice, but was the slowest of the 45 cars in Happy Hour.
Chase Elliott, attempting to make his second career Cup Series start, was 21st and 27th, respectively, during Friday’s practices.
Championship leader Harvick had the quickest 10-lap average in Happy Hour, with an average speed of 122.212 mph.
Qualifying for the Toyota Owners 400 is set for 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon, with the race set for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
About the author
Joseph started with Fronstretch in Aug. 2014 and worked his way up to become an editor in less than a year. A native of Whitestone, New York, Joseph writes for NASCAR Pole Position magazine as a weekly contributor, along with being a former intern at Newsday and the Times Beacon Record Newspapers, each on Long Island. With a focus on NASCAR, he runs our social media pages and writes the NASCAR Mailbox column, along with other features for the site.
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