Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Leads Opening Cup Practice at New Hampshire

Late in opening practice, Kyle Larson posted the quickest lap of the session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, at 135.941 mph.

Coming up on the short end of the stick last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Chase Elliott was a bridesmaid again, this time pacing second at New Hampshire on Friday (135.893 mph). The Hendrick Motorsports driver was quick back in July, winning final practice.

Kevin Harvick was third on the board (135.757 mph), Carl Edwards was fourth (135.738 mph) and Martin Truex, Jr. rounded out the top 5 (135.709 mph), less than a half-tenth off the hot lap that Larson turned.

Kasey Kahne was the first non-Chase driver in sixth and the second fastest Hendrick Motorsports driver. Denny Hamlin was seventh, AJ Allmendinger posted the eighth quickest time, Kurt Busch ninth and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.

July polesitter Jimmie Johnson was 16th on the board, almost two tenths of a second off Larson’s lap. Fourteen of the top 20 times were turned by drivers that are a part of the Chase field.

The only incident of the 90-minute session came with 14 minutes to go when Austin Dillon charged turn 1, making contact with the wall when the left front tire locked up. The No. 3 car was 32nd on the board, faster than only Chris Buescher of drivers in the Chase.

Alex Bowman, again driving the No. 88 in place of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., turned 34 laps, the most of all drivers. He was 21st on one-lap speed.

Two drivers made 10-lap runs, led by Kahne (131,273 mph). Danica Patrick was the other driver to turn 10 laps.

Full practice speeds here.

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.

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