Chase Elliott tops final practice; issues for Truex, Bowman

Chase Elliott, who won the most recent road course race in the NASCAR Cup Series, led the way in Saturday’s final practice at the Charlotte Roval.

Chase Elliott tops final practice; issues for Truex, Bowman

Elliott’s average lap speed of 102.101 mph knocked Martin Truex Jr. (102.009 mph) from the top spot late in the incident-filled 50-minute session.

In the final seconds of practice, Alex Bowman spun around in Turn 4 and slammed into the tire barrier, doing extensive damage to his No. 88 Chevrolet. Bowman had posted the 10th-fastest time in practice and was scheduled to start second in Sunday’s Bank of America 400.

 

Bowman’s damage means the No. 88 will move to a backup car and he will have to start the race from the rear of the field.

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Truex, too, had serious issues.  

About eight minutes into the session, Truex slowed approaching the backstretch chicane and blew the engine after missing a shift, going from second to first-gear. Fluid was dropped on the track as Truex’s No. 19 Toyota came to a stop on the track.

 

Truex will have to change engines which means he will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

“We had a good car, we had a good qualifying effort (eighth). It’s going to be hard to start from the back and hate all the extra work from for my guys,” Truex said. “I apologize to them. I’m not sure how it happened.”

Brad Keselowski ended up third-fastest in single-lap speeds (101.890 mph). Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Ryan Blaney, pole-winner William Byron, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch and Bowman.

About 23 minutes into the session, Jimmie Johnson spun off Turn 5 to bring out a caution but it didn’t appear to suffer much damage and he was able to drive away.

Also in the final minute, Austin Dillon went around in the area of Turn 6 but was able to continue on without an issue.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 23 1'21.801     102.101
2 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 3 1'21.875 0.074 0.074 102.009
3 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 21 1'21.970 0.169 0.095 101.891
4 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 22 1'22.063 0.262 0.093 101.775
5 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 17 1'22.079 0.278 0.016 101.756
6 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 14 1'22.134 0.333 0.055 101.687
7 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 20 1'22.172 0.371 0.038 101.640
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 19 1'22.196 0.395 0.024 101.611
9 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 20 1'22.208 0.407 0.012 101.596
10 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 18 1'22.281 0.480 0.073 101.506
11 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 20 1'22.340 0.539 0.059 101.433
12 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 18 1'22.412 0.611 0.072 101.344
13 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 8 1'22.439 0.638 0.027 101.311
14 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 21 1'22.520 0.719 0.081 101.212
15 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 16 1'22.550 0.749 0.030 101.175
16 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 21 1'22.596 0.795 0.046 101.119
17 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 11 1'22.607 0.806 0.011 101.105
18 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 17 1'22.611 0.810 0.004 101.100
19 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 20 1'22.715 0.914 0.104 100.973
20 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 13 1'22.777 0.976 0.062 100.898
21 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 16 1'22.855 1.054 0.078 100.803
22 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 20 1'22.865 1.064 0.010 100.790
23 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 17 1'22.891 1.090 0.026 100.759
24 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 16 1'23.060 1.259 0.169 100.554
25 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 15 1'23.070 1.269 0.010 100.542
26 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 17 1'23.128 1.327 0.058 100.472
27 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 18 1'23.185 1.384 0.057 100.403
28 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 14 1'23.194 1.393 0.009 100.392
29 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 20 1'23.453 1.652 0.259 100.080
30 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 22 1'23.622 1.821 0.169 99.878
31 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 4 1'24.886 3.085 1.264 98.391
32 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 14 1'25.504 3.703 0.618 97.680
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