Clint Bowyer tops Friday's final Cup practice at Talladega

Clint Bowyer led the way in Friday’s final practice at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway as speeds dropped off from the first session.

Clint Bowyer tops Friday's final Cup practice at Talladega

While drafting with his teammates late in the 50-minute session, Bowyer went to the top of the scoring monitor with an average lap of 202.042 mph. Aric Almirola was second (200.835 mph).

Bowyer’s start Sunday will be the 500th of his Cup Series career.

“It’s a long time, though – a lot of races,” Bowyer said. “It’s something to be proud of, to stay relevant enough and to stay in equipment for that long for 500 races is something that any driver or any individual that’s in a sport for that long, compared to about any other sport that’s a long time to be in a professional sport.”

Matt Crafton, who drove some laps in Paul Menard’s No. 21 Ford, was third-fastest (200.814 mph). Kevin Harvick was fourth and Ryan Preece completed the top-five.

Crafton, a two-time Truck Series champion, is on standby for Menard throughout the weekend. Menard is suffering 

Rounding out the top-10 speeds were Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman and Matt DiBenedetto.

In all, the top six drivers surpassed the 200 mph mark. In Friday’s first practice session, the top 33 cars posted an average speed better than 200 mph, with the top seven better than 203 mph.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 19 47.396     202.042
2 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 23 47.681 0.285 0.285 200.835
3 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 21 47.686 0.290 0.005 200.814
4 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 24 47.734 0.338 0.048 200.612
5 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 14 47.761 0.365 0.027 200.498
6 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 24 47.877 0.481 0.116 200.013
7 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 21 48.013 0.617 0.136 199.446
8 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 14 48.031 0.635 0.018 199.371
9 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 8 48.042 0.646 0.011 199.326
10 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 6 48.062 0.666 0.020 199.243
11 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 25 48.067 0.671 0.005 199.222
12 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 18 48.149 0.753 0.082 198.883
13 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 10 48.193 0.797 0.044 198.701
14 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 16 48.265 0.869 0.072 198.405
15 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 13 48.289 0.893 0.024 198.306
16 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 24 49.357 1.961 1.068 194.015
17 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 10 49.501 2.105 0.144 193.451
18 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 8 49.760 2.364 0.259 192.444
19 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 5 50.014 2.618 0.254 191.466
20 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 5 50.090 2.694 0.076 191.176
21 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 5 50.151 2.755 0.061 190.943
22 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 22 50.238 2.842 0.087 190.613
23 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 8 50.258 2.862 0.020 190.537
24 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 13 50.380 2.984 0.122 190.075
25 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 11 50.415 3.019 0.035 189.943
26 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 17 50.458 3.062 0.043 189.782
27 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 9 50.471 3.075 0.013 189.733
28 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 5 50.495 3.099 0.024 189.643
29 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 6 50.506 3.110 0.011 189.601
30 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 6 50.554 3.158 0.048 189.421
31 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 10 50.938 3.542 0.384 187.993
32 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 13 50.995 3.599 0.057 187.783
33 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 2 51.577 4.181 0.582 185.664
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