Race Weekend Central

Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric Top XFINITY ROVAL Practice Sessions

Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric, fresh off the news that he will race full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019, was fastest overall in XFINITY Series practice on Friday.  Hemric’s lap of 104.966 mph was set midway through Happy Hour

Practice No. 1

Team Penske’s Austin Cindric was fastest in the opening session with a lap of 104.636 mph, a lap more than one mph faster than the best lap on Thursday.  Cindric’s time, which would have been good enough for 18th in Cup practice, was one-eighth of a second faster than Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric.  DGM Racing’s Alex Labbé, who has a fair amount of experience on tight road courses and street courses from his time in the Pinty’s Series, was third.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ryan Preece, fresh off of his Cup announcement, was fourth fastest in his Toyota.  JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier was fifth.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer was sixth fastest, followed by Christopher Bell, who had an accident in the infield late in the session.  Luckily, Bell’s GameStop Toyota was not heavily damaged.  Roush Fenway Racing’s Ty Majeski was eighth quickest, followed by Ryan TruexMatt Tifft was 10th fastest.

As compared to Cup practice, there was not as much on-track trouble.  However, there was one red flag during the session.  John Jackson spun his MBM Motorsports Dodge exiting Turn 1.  Shortly afterwards, JJ Yeley slid head-on into the wall in Turn 1, significantly damaging his No. 38 Chevrolet.  Yeley walked away, but as Yeley explains, his car is toast.


Practice No. 2

Generally speaking, most of the field was slower in Happy Hour than in the first practice session.  As a result, Hemric’s lap really stood.  It was nearly a full second faster than Truex in second.  Custer was third fastest, followed by Majeski.  Allgaier was once again fifth quickest.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Justin Marks was sixth fastest, followed by Cindric.  Andy Lally, driving the Alpha Prime Chevrolet for DGM Racing, was eighth fastest, followed by Sadler.  JD Motorsports’ Ross Chastain was 10th.

There were no serious incidents during the session that caused red flags.  However, there was one scary moment.  GMS Racing’s Spencer Gallagher spun exiting Turn 1, which has been dubbed “Heartburn Turn” this weekend thanks to a sponsorship from TUMS.  Gallagher didn’t hit anything, but ended up perpendicular to the track in a position that was near blind to oncoming traffic.  Luckily, no one hit him.

33 of the 41 teams entered turned laps during the session.  Michael Annett, Kaz Grala and Tifft each completed 20 laps during the session, most of anyone.


XFINITY Series teams are scheduled to qualify for the Drive for the Cure 200 Saturday at Noon.  The session will air live on CNBC.

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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