Race Weekend Central

Chase Elliott Tops Opening Practice at Michigan

Courtesy of a late 201.630 mph lap, rookie Chase Elliott led the way in opening practice at Michigan International Speedway.

Elliott’s lap in the closing moments took the top spot from Martin Truex, Jr., who led the way for much of the session despite completing only nine laps. After being the first driver to top 200 mph average speed early in the opening practice, Truex slotted in second with a 201.314 mph circuit.

Carl Edwards (201.218 mph), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (201.213 mph) and Kevin Harvick (200.904 mph) rounded out the top five, with Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney completing the top 10.

In all, 12 cars topped 200 mph on the charts, with Brad Keselowski and A.J Allmendinger joining the top 10 with the accomplishment.

The session served as the first official track time for a the field with a new lower downforce package implemented by NASCAR for Michigan and Kentucky Speedway in July. The changes to the car include a reduction in spoiler height from 3.5 inches to 2.5 inches, a splitter reduction of two inches and a re-sizing of the rear deck fin in order to complement the spoiler change.

The NSCS field will return to the two-mile Michigan oval for Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Firekeepers Casino 400 at 4:15 p.m. ET.

Results, via NASCAR

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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