Race Weekend Central

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch Top MENCS Practice At Kansas

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series took to the track for two rounds of practice in preparation for Saturday night’s GoBowling.com 400. The track was slick and loose on Friday as the teams worked to get their cars dialed in for the race at the Kansas Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr. posted the quick time of the initial round on the 1.5-mile oval. His Toyota topped the charts at 29.179 seconds (185.065 mph), just ahead of the Team Penske Ford of Ryan Blaney. Rounding out the top five were Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick.

In round number two, Kyle Busch laid down the fastest lap, hustling around the track at 28.729 seconds (187.963 mph). Kyle Larson was second quick, followed by Truex, Blaney and Brad Keselowski.

Larson got loose in the second round and made contact with the wall in turn two. The No. 42 Ganassi Racing team will use a back up car for the remainder of the weekend.

“I’ve been extremely loose all day.  I think a lot of people have,” Larson said after the wreck. “Back there when I wrecked, I just tried to open my entry up a little bit so it would maybe help my corner out and I just got really loose before I ever even really got to the corner.  I had to chase it up and smacked the wall pretty hard.  So, back-up car, but our back-up car should be pretty good.”

Seven drivers were docked practice time for various infractions. Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jamie McMurray, and Chris Buescher all lost time for assorted issues last week at Talladega. Kyle Busch and Corey Lajoie served deferred penalties from Bristol. Additionally, Jones sat out the first 15 minutes of the session for missing the morning rookie meeting. Jones spun during the first practice but his car was undamaged.

“I was just a little bit free and I moved up a little bit in (turns) three and four to try to keep the lap time in it and it started getting away from me some and eventually just had to kind of give up on it,” Jones said. “Luckily we didn’t really catch the grass too bad and didn’t get too much damage. We’ll get if fixed up and get back out for second practice.

“You never want to roll a backup out, so it’s nice to have the same car. Fortunately, we have minimal damage, a little bit of side skirt work, so we’ll get it back going. I think it’s a fast car really, we just got to get it tuned up a little bit and we’ll be just fine.”

Qualifying for the GoBowling.com 400 takes place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

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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