Race Weekend Central

William Byron Quickest in Opening Phoenix Truck Practice

Early on Friday morning, the 33 trucks entered in tonight’s Lucas Oil 150 took to the Phoenix International Raceway tri-oval for its first practice session.  The results were not all that different from the rest of the season.

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ William Byron turned in the fastest lap of the session on his final lap on-track.  The lap of 26.479 seconds (135.957 mph) is roughly three-tenths of a second off of the track record set last year by Erik Jones.

ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes was a little more than three-hundredths of a second slower than Byron in second.  Noah Gragson, who is attempting his Camping World Truck Series debut today in KBM’s No. 18, was third fastest.  Matt Crafton and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 5.

Among the remaining Chasers outside of the top 5, Johnny Sauter was sixth fastest in his No. 21 Chevrolet.  Defending race winner Timothy Peters was ninth quickest, while Christopher Bell struggled at times before setting the 10th fastest time late in the session.  Ben Kennedy, who has struggled over the past couple of weeks, was the slowest of the Chasers in 15th.

Gragson was the fastest of the drivers attempting their Truck Series debuts this weekend in third. Myatt Snider was 21st fastest in the No. 22 Toyota for Self Motorsports with backing from The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce; regular driver Austin Wayne Self is driving the No. 66 Toyota in a second entry for the team.

K&N Pro Series East regular Dominique Van Wieringen is also attempting her debut in the No. 02 through a joint venture between Young’s Motorsports and Rette Jones Racing (Van Wieringen’s K&N Pro Series East team).  Van Wieringen ended up 24th fastest in the session.

29 of the trucks entered set times during the session.  Premium Motorsports’ Bryce Napier briefly went out on track, but failed to post a lap.  Tommy Joe Martins also briefly got on-track, but aborted his run after running into brake issues.

Final practice for the Camping World Truck Series is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST this afternoon.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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