Race Weekend Central

Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott Top Saturday ROVAL Cup Series Practices

In the two practice sessions after qualifying for the 2019 Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte ROVAL, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott paced the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field. Blaney led the first practice session Saturday (Sep. 28), and Elliott led the second practice session, the final practice session before the race itself.

Practice No. 2

Blaney is a precarious eight points above the Round of 16 cut line, but he showed the speed in his No. 12 Team Penske Ford during the second practice session. Completing 21 laps in this session, Blaney posted the fastest lap at 101.882 mph.

Rookie Ryan Preece was second fastest with a speed of 101.445 mph. Rounding out the top five on the leaderboard were Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin.

Martin Truex Jr. suffered misfortune in this session. Take a listen.

Truex Jr. missed the shift from second to third gear, and as a result, he blew the engine of his No. 19 Toyota. Joe Gibbs Racing replaced the motor, but Truex Jr. will start the race at the rear of the field.

There were also some on-track issues in the session.  Kyle Busch spun early in the session in turn 4 and clipped the tires. The Joe Gibbs Racing team made repairs to the left rear corner that allowed Busch to continue. Matt Tifft also had issues late in the session. He lost control of his Louis Kemp Crab Delights Ford and spun into the tires at the same point Busch spun. The No. 36 team chose to sit out Happy Hour in order to make repairs to Tifft’s Mustang.


Final Practice

Final practice for the Cup Series drivers at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL left several drivers with damaged cars.

Johnson, Austin Dillon, and Alex Bowman all veered off course. Of those three, Bowman sustained the most damage to his No. 88 Chevrolet. Hendrick Motorsports elected to bring out his backup and he will forfeit his front row starting spot and instead start from the rear of the field.

Elliott kept his No. 9 Chevrolet clean and jumped to the top of the speed charts with a fast lap of 102.101 mph.

With his replacement engine, Truex was second-fastest. He has won back-to-back Cup Series races, so he will attempt to drive to the front of the field to sweep the Round of 16.

Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, and Michael McDowell rounded out the top five. Blaney was sixth-quickest, completing 14 laps in this session.

In the final practice session, 32 drivers completed at least one lap.


The Cup Series drivers will get back on track tomorrow for the final race in the Round of 16. The Bank of America ROVAL 400 is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage provided by NBC.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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