Kevin Harvick led the Sprint Cup Series opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway ahead of Sunday afternoon’s AAA Texas 500. After spending time atop the leaderboard early, Harvick dropped back before a mock qualifying run put him back in the top spot with a lap at 196.685. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth ended the session second and third. Joey Logano and rookie Ryan Blaney rounded out the top 5.
Chase Elliott was sixth quickest, followed by Kurt Busch, who spent a short period of time at the top of the leaderboard midway through practice. Kyle Larson, AJ Allmendinger and Casey Mears rounded out the top 10.
Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin was one of three Chase drivers outside the top 10, posting a 193.972 mph lap, good enough for 15th quickest. Kyle Busch, who suffered a flat tire that sent him hard into the wall in turn 4, was forced to a backup car before he even completed a lap. He ended up 22nd quickest when the session ended. Additionally, Jimmie Johnson, who is already locked into the championship battle at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was 33rd quickest.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race will be held at 5:45 p.m. local time. Cup drivers will also have a pair of practice session Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
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