Paul Menard’s new crew chief Danny Stockman, Jr. may have found a little something in his first weekend.
Posting a lap of 50.722 seconds (177.438 mph), Menard led opening practice at Pocono Raceway, as he led a trio of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas to have the quickest time.
Denny Hamlin led the JGR crew in second, followed by Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5.
Jeff Gordon, subbing for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the second straight week, finished 22nd on the board while Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne also failed to crack the top 10. That feat was reserved for Chase Elliott, the driver who led the most laps in the June Pocono race; he posted the eighth quickest lap.
Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon rounded out the top 10.
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Zach, we’ve been over this a few times now: no one “wins” a practice session. You could however say that they are the fastest or perhaps have the top speed.
Are there practice flags that they hang up in the shop, or photo sessions with the team holding up one finger or something? Some of the TV folks stated using this “won practice” stuff several years back. makes me wonder if they were planning on awarding points for practice at one time.
Congrats, Paul, on making the Practice Chase.
Is it the 16 drivers who win the most practice sessions, and is number of practice sessions won the tiebreaker? Maybe the overall winner gets one of the early mock-ups of the Sprint Cup trophy.