Race Weekend Central

Austin Dillon, Erik Jones Lead Early XFINITY Practices at Kentucky

As the NASCAR XFINITY Series completed its first laps on the newly-repaved Kentucky Speedway, a couple of the paddock’s best led the way.

Austin Dillon and Erik Jones put down laps of 28.761 seconds and 28.994 seconds, respectively, to top the first two of four XFINITY Series practices tabbed for Thursday on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval.

Dillon’s speed in the opening session was one of the few highlights for Richard Childress Racing. His teammates struggled, with Brandon Jones being forced to a backup car after a trip into the outside wall early in second practice.

Kyle Busch (28.882) ended the opening practice in second, with Jones (28.892), Ty Dillon (18.962) and Daniel Suarez (29.018) rounding out the top 5.

Practice one results, via NASCAR

In the second practice, it was Jones pacing the field with a late 28.994-second circuit, the only lap in the hour to break 29 seconds.

Suarez (29.247), Busch (29.291), Brad Keselowski (29.475) and Austin Dillon (29.476) completed the top five, with Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole and Blake Koch completing the top 10.

The caution flag fell four times between the two sessions, twice for accidents, and twice for debris.

The XFINITY Series will return to the Sparta, Ky., oval for a third practice session at 4 p.m. ET.

Practice two 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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