Race Weekend Central

Flying: Stewart-Haas Racing Teammates Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick Top Final Practice at Indy

Looking for his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch put down the fastest lap in Friday’s final practice.

Busch, who has two wins to date despite running three fewer races than his championship competitors, laid down a 181.987-mph lap to top the session. Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick joined Busch at the front with a 181.763-mph circuit around the 2.5-mile oval.

Kyle Larson ended the session in third after running a 181.357-mph lap in an early mock qualifying run. Four-time winner Jimmie Johnson (180.697) and Martin Truex Jr. (180.672) rounded out the top five.

Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon and Tony Stewart finished out the top 10.

For the first time this weekend, fans got a glimpse of NASCAR’s planned drafting-influenced racing at the Speedway, Indiana track. Drivers including Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray and Edwards took advantage of the new high-drag rules package, drafting up to and slingshotting past their competitors as they roared across the track’s brick finish line.

Young Timmy Hill’s No. 98 Premium Motorsports team will have an uphill battle heading into qualifying tomorrow. Hill, hoping to make his first career start in the Brickyard 400, was running in race trim early in the session when he lost control of his Chevrolet coming off turn 4. Hill slid into the inside wall, damaging the nose of his car and forcing the team to bring out a backup.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to action Saturday for Coors Light Pole Qualifying.


141Kurt BuschHaas Automation181.98749.454Leader
24Kevin HarvickJimmy John's/ Budweiser181.76349.5150.061
342Kyle LarsonTarget181.35749.6260.172
448Jimmie JohnsonKobalt Tools180.69749.8070.353
578Martin Truex JrFurniture Row/Visser Precision180.67249.8140.36
618Kyle BuschSkittles180.62149.8280.374
719Carl EdwardsStanley180.49149.8640.41
85Kasey KahneFARMERS180.10449.9710.517
93Austin DillonDow - Mycogen180.10149.9720.518
1014Tony StewartMobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops180.01449.9960.542
1131Ryan NewmanGrainger179.29750.1960.742
1227Paul MenardDuracell / Menards178.97650.2860.832
1333Brian ScottShore Lodge178.91650.3030.849
1422Joey LoganoShell Pennzoil178.88450.3120.858
1516Greg BiffleLilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Fusion178.53650.410.956
1613Casey MearsNo. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS178.16550.5151.061
1725Chase ElliottNAPA Auto Parts178.09850.5341.08
1817Ricky Stenhouse JrNOS Energy Drink Ford Fusion178.0850.5391.085
1910Danica PatrickGoDaddy178.00350.5611.107
2047AJ AllmendingerKroger/Kingsford Charcoat177.92950.5821.128
2195Michael McDowellThrivent Financial177.80250.6181.164
229Sam Hornish JrMedallion Bank177.78150.6241.17
2324Jeff Gordon3M177.66950.6561.202
241Jamie McMurrayMcDonald's/Cessna177.61350.6721.218
2551Justin AllgaierBrandt177.58850.6791.225
266Trevor BayneAdvocare Ford Fusion177.54350.6921.238
2720Matt KensethDollar General177.51850.6991.245
2840Landon CassillTBA177.29450.7631.309
292Brad KeselowskiMiller Lite177.22550.7831.329
3021Ryan BlaneyMotorcraft / Quick Lane / JDRF177.17950.7961.342
3111Denny HamlinFedEx Express177.11750.8141.36
3288Dale Earnhardt JrNationwide176.97450.8551.401
3346Michael AnnettSwitch Hitch176.31251.0461.592
3455David RaganAaron's Dream Machine176.10551.1061.652
3543Aric AlmirolaEckrich176.09451.1091.655
3615Clint Bowyer5-Hour Energy175.8451.1831.729
3734Brett MoffittCSX Play It Safe175.53451.2721.818
387Alex BowmanMarsh Supermarkets Chevrolet175.51751.2771.823
3932Josh WiseBrandise Machinery174.83251.4782.024
4023J.J. YeleyDr. Pepper174.49651.5772.123
4135Cole WhittSpeed Stick174.19251.6672.213
4238David GillilandFFA173.94751.742.286
4326Jeb BurtonMaxim Fantasy Sports/Estes173.53751.8622.408
4483Matt DiBenedettoVooDoo BBQ & Grill172.73552.1032.649
4562Reed SorensonTBA168.86853.2963.842
4698Timmy HillCurb Records00-49.454

About the author

A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.

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Johnson is fourth. He can be a lot quicker than that. Wait until he starts passing cars like he’s got more hp than anyone else (which he probably does).

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