It took almost five minutes for teams to venture out onto the track for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ first practice session Friday afternoon at Kansas Speedway, thanks to the rubber laid down by a two-hour ARCA practice earlier in the morning.
At the conclusion of the 85-minute session, it was Kyle Larson who topped the charts with a 189.056 mph (28.563 sec) lap. Kevin Harvick ran second quickest at 187.500 mph (28.800 sec). Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
Kurt Busch was the first non-playoff driver inside the top 10 in sixth, followed by Daniel Suarez . Matt Kenseth ended the session eighth quickest, followed by Clint Bowyer, who hails from nearby Emporia, Kan. Jamie McMurray rounded out the top 10.
Joey Logano ran 26 laps, the most of any driver in this session, and no one ran 10 consecutive laps.
Five other playoff drivers ran outside the top 10. Chase Elliott ended 12th, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who ran 14th and 15th, respectively. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran 19th, while Talladega winner Brad Keselowski ended the session 21st.
High winds brought challenges to drivers, especially in Turns 1 and 2 as they worked on the balance of the cars. Early in the session, Dale Earnhardt Jr. scraped the wall but did minimal damage to the No. 88 Chevrolet. He ended the session 11th quickest after running 22 laps.
Cup Series teams will qualify Friday afternoon at 6:15 p.m. ET ahead of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400. Drivers will also participate in a pair of practice sessions Saturday. The first will run from 11 – 11:50 a.m. ET, while the second is scheduled for 1:30 – 2:20 p.m. ET.
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Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 15-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.