Race Weekend Central

Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola Lead Thursday Las Vegas Tests

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series paced around Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday for a total of five hours to test the new aerodynamic package on a 1.5-mile speedway.

In all, 38 cars hit the track, with teams whose cars number in the forties having especially good days.

Session 1:

Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest lap at 192.981 mph in the morning session, which lasted two hours. The No. 48 car was on track for just 18 laps, one of the lowest amounts of the bigger organizations.

Denny Hamlin was just behind Johnson by .020 seconds. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth followed in pursuit as he was third quick. The teammates of Brian Vickers and Danica Patrick rounded out the top 5 on the chart.

One of the big surprises was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hovering in 29th, nearly one second behind his teammate. However, the No. 88 team had a plan and ran just 18 laps in the first practice.

Full test results here.

Session 2:

In the afternoon session Aric Almirola laid down a lap with just minutes to go that could not be beat at 192.940 mph. Though cars were on-track during the hottest part of the day, the speeds remained close to what they were in the morning.

Austin Dillon was second quick, .041 seconds behind the No. 43 car. Ryan Blaney posted the third fastest lap, while Kurt Busch was fourth and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 5.

Johnson wound up with the 12th best time in the afternoon, over 3 mph slower than his hot lap earlier on in the day. Earnhardt was able to fix his problems form the morning and finish just ahead of the No. 48 car in 11th.

Hamlin posted the 10th fastest time, but saw trouble in the first of the three-hour afternoon test. The No. 11 Toyota that he crashed was going to be the primary car this weekend.

It was this session that saw more of the longer runs as Brian Vickers ran 117 laps, most of all competitors.

Full test results here.

The new low-downforce aero package will make its debut at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday during the Kobalt Tools 400 at 3 p.m.

About the author

Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2020 marks his sixth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jimmie’s in the chase. Chad’s experimenting has begun.

Share via