Race Weekend Central

Blake Koch, Brandon Jones Fastest in Talladega XFINITY Practices

The NASCAR XFINITY Series hit the high banks of the Talladega Superspeedway on Friday (May 5) for two practice sessions in preparation for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300.

Ordinarily, practices at restrictor plate races don’t hold much weight. But when the same cars top the charts in both rounds, there might be something more to it.

Blake Koch paced the field in the first, setting a fast lap of 192.591 mph to lead the session.  Second fastest was Brendan Gaughan, .010 of a second off Koch’s time. Ben Kennedy, making his first start of the 2017 season, was third quickest.

Daniel Hemric also posted competitive laps during his run. Hemric was fourth fastest in the opening round. Meanwhile, after nearly winning last week at Richmond International Raceway, Ty Dillon’s lap left him fifth on the charts when the session was completed.

As for the second round, it was a bit more of the same. That time, Brandon Jones was fastest at 182.814 mph. However, Koch was second quick. Rounding out the top five again were Hemric, Kennedy and Dillon. Only 20 drivers practiced in the second session.

Practice one speeds | Practice two speeds

Qualifying for the XFINITY Series will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Catch all the action in the Sparks Energy 300 on Saturday at 1 pm ET on FOX.

About the author

Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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