Aric Almirola tops Bowyer in first Cup practice at Kansas

Aric Almirola took advantage of some late-session drafting and ended up fastest in Friday’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Kansas.

Aric Almirola tops Bowyer in first Cup practice at Kansas

Almirola and his No. 10 Ford had topped the leaderboard early in the 50-minute session but returned to the top when a large group of cars began running together towards the end.

His average lap speed of 178.153 mph topped Clint Bowyer (178.153 mph) and Kyle Busch (177.160 mph) as Fords claimed three of the top four positions.

In Almirola’s three starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season, he has earned one pole and three top-10s with 39 laps led. 

“I feel really good about getting back to the 1.5-mile tracks,” he said. “We have had some bad luck and have made a few mistakes at the short tracks, so I’m ready to get to a track that we know we have to be good at because those are the tracks that make up the majority of the season.” 

Brad Keselowski was fourth and William Byron completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman.

Harvick had the fastest average lap speed (175.974 mph) among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. Keselowski and Austin Dillon were second and third, respectively, in that category.

Three drivers – Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Preece and Bowman – had to sit out the final 15 minutes of the session after their respective cars twice failed pre-race inspection last weekend.

Matt Tifft sat out the final 30 minutes of practice after his car failed pre-race inspection three times last weekend.

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Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 23 30.311     178.153
2 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 30 30.443 0.132 0.132 177.381
3 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 26 30.481 0.170 0.038 177.160
4 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 38 30.509 0.198 0.028 176.997
5 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 41 30.519 0.208 0.010 176.939
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 34 30.520 0.209 0.001 176.933
7 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 45 30.533 0.222 0.013 176.858
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 41 30.564 0.253 0.031 176.678
9 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 37 30.566 0.255 0.002 176.667
10 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 22 30.577 0.266 0.011 176.603
11 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 30 30.617 0.306 0.040 176.373
12 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 38 30.633 0.322 0.016 176.280
13 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 53 30.643 0.332 0.010 176.223
14 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 29 30.660 0.349 0.017 176.125
15 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 35 30.665 0.354 0.005 176.097
16 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 50 30.668 0.357 0.003 176.079
17 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 29 30.700 0.389 0.032 175.896
18 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 35 30.706 0.395 0.006 175.861
19 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 32 30.714 0.403 0.008 175.816
20 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 29 30.733 0.422 0.019 175.707
21 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 50 30.736 0.425 0.003 175.690
22 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 36 30.757 0.446 0.021 175.570
23 31 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 38 30.801 0.490 0.044 175.319
24 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 20 30.831 0.520 0.030 175.148
25 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 27 30.861 0.550 0.030 174.978
26 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 24 30.863 0.552 0.002 174.967
27 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 10 30.872 0.561 0.009 174.916
28 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 38 30.873 0.562 0.001 174.910
29 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 31 30.897 0.586 0.024 174.774
30 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 24 30.956 0.645 0.059 174.441
31 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 15 30.979 0.668 0.023 174.312
32 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 31 30.979 0.668 0.000 174.312
33 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 19 30.994 0.683 0.015 174.227
34 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 27 31.150 0.839 0.156 173.355
35 52 Bayley Currey  Ford 7 31.223 0.912 0.073 172.949
36 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 4 31.707 1.396 0.484 170.309
37 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 14 31.792 1.481 0.085 169.854
38 77 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 25 31.911 1.600 0.119 169.221
39 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 14 32.784 2.473 0.873 164.714
40 46 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 7 33.015 2.704 0.231 163.562
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