Team Penske officially started the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend off sweeping Friday’s Cup practice. Brad Keselowski was the fastest with a speed of 195.327 mph, and Joey Logano was second with a speed of 195.263 mph.
Sprint Cup teams focused primarily on qualifying trim during the session, with only Brian Scott (31st) staying out long enough for a 10-lap run. Only 16 drivers drove over 10 laps in the session.
Hometown hero Kurt Busch only ran seven laps, but his lap at 195.235 mph was good enough for third overall.
Paul Menard ended the session in fourth after coming within inches of hitting the wall midway through the session. Brian Vickers, this week’s substitute driver in the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Tony Stewart, rounded out the top 5.
Kasey Kahne was the fastest Hendrick Motorsports driver at sixth. Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott weren’t far off in eight and ninth respectively. Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished mired in 15th.
Defending race winner Kevin Harvick ended the session seventh on the board.
Defending champion Kyle Busch returns to his home track a lowly 25th in practice at 192.486 mph. It’s Busch’s first race weekend at Las Vegas since March 2014.
Though there were no accidents or issues during the hour and a half session, there were a few close calls primarily out of turn 4. In addition to Menard’s aforementioned near brush with the wall, Kyle Larson (17th) almost spun out late in the session.
Qualifying will be held at 4:45 p.m. PT (7:45 ET) Friday evening. Expect yet another track record being broken, with speeds already easily eclipsing Jeff Gordon’s pole last season.
Check out full practice results here.
About the author
Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.
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