Race Weekend Central

Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson Fastest in Las Vegas Cup Practices

Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson paced the two Friday (Feb. 21) practice sessions for the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Practice No. 1

Almirola led the first session with a speed of 178.654 mph in his No. 10 Stewart Haas Racing Ford. His teammate Clint Bowyer was second on the speed chart after clocking in his No. 14 Ford at 178.383 mph.

Ty Dillon‘s speed was good for third fastest on the board, while Joey Logano and Alex Bowman followed in fourth and fifth. Matt DiBenedetto was sixth, then Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott. Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney were ninth and 10th.

Monday’s (Feb. 17) Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was slotted in all the way back in 25th in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

MBM Motorsport’s Timmy Hill was the only driver entered who did not turn a lap in the first practice session.


Practice No. 2

In the second practice, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet led the way at 179.432 mph, while Bowyer was second again with a speed of 179.271 mph.

Almirola followed in third, while fellow Ford drivers Kevin Harvick and DiBenedetto rounded out the top five.

Ross Chastain, who is filling in for Ryan Newman in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, had the sixth-best time. Larson was seventh, then Blaney, John Hunter Nemechek and Bowman.

All 38 drivers practiced in the second session. Ryan Blaney turned the most laps with 65 circuits completed. Harvick had the fastest 10-lap average at 177.636 mph. According to FOX Sports, Chastain was fastest in the 15-lap average, while Bowman was fastest in the 20-lap average.



Qualifying is for the Pennzoil 400 is slated for Saturday (Feb. 22) at 2:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. The green flag for the race is scheduled to drop at 3:45 p.m. ET on Sunday (Feb. 23). FOX will provide live TV coverage on Sunday.

About the author

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Never at a loss for words, Zach Gillispie is a young, talented marketing professional from North Carolina who talks and writes on the side about his first love: racing! Since joining Frontstretch in 2018, Zach has served in numerous roles where he currently pens the NASCAR 101 column, a weekly piece delving into the basic nuts and bolts of the sport. Additionally, his unabashedly bold takes meshed with that trademarked dry wit of his have made Zach a fan favorite on the weekly Friday Faceoff panel. In his free time, he can be found in the great outdoors, actively involved in his church, cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves or ruthlessly pestering his colleagues with completely useless statistics about Delma Cowart.

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