Erik Jones tops Saturday's first Cup Series practice at Bristol

Erik Jones continues on pace for a strong performance in this weekend’s Cup race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Erik Jones tops Saturday's first Cup Series practice at Bristol

Jones followed up his fourth-place qualifying effort from Friday by leading Saturday’s first practice session.

His average lap speed of 129.903 mph (14.771 seconds) topped Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin (129.850 mph) and Daniel Suarez (129.482 mph). Joey Logano was fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

In four career Cup Series starts at Bristol, Jones has a pair of top-five finishes, including a fifth in last August’s race.

“I feel like we were making the right strides. There was just a lot of circumstantial stuff that happened in the last few races that didn’t play out,” Jones said. “Texas was a good race for us obviously. We have the speed and we’ve got the team.

“If we keep having races like Texas that win is going to come. I feel really good about this weekend. I feel like we’ve got a great chance to really knock this one out and have a pretty good race and hopefully win it.”

Rounding out the top-10 were Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney.

In all, 21 teams ran laps under 15 seconds during the 55-minute session.

Practice was briefly halted with about 22 minutes left to check the track for debris.

Pole-winner Chase Elliott ended up 13th-fastest.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 47 14.771     129.903
2 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 42 14.777 0.006 0.006 129.850
3 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 66 14.819 0.048 0.042 129.482
4 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 55 14.852 0.081 0.033 129.195
5 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 62 14.853 0.082 0.001 129.186
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 75 14.864 0.093 0.011 129.090
7 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 65 14.870 0.099 0.006 129.038
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 45 14.870 0.099 0.000 129.038
9 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 77 14.874 0.103 0.004 129.004
10 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 64 14.877 0.106 0.003 128.978
11 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 76 14.883 0.112 0.006 128.926
12 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 48 14.908 0.137 0.025 128.709
13 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 63 14.915 0.144 0.007 128.649
14 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 73 14.921 0.150 0.006 128.597
15 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 76 14.926 0.155 0.005 128.554
16 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 110 14.942 0.171 0.016 128.417
17 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 63 14.951 0.180 0.009 128.339
18 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 46 14.954 0.183 0.003 128.313
19 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 46 14.957 0.186 0.003 128.288
20 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 83 14.964 0.193 0.007 128.228
21 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 59 14.984 0.213 0.020 128.057
22 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 93 15.017 0.246 0.033 127.775
23 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 64 15.051 0.280 0.034 127.487
24 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 61 15.062 0.291 0.011 127.393
25 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 54 15.097 0.326 0.035 127.098
26 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 63 15.105 0.334 0.008 127.031
27 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 47 15.108 0.337 0.003 127.006
28 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 51 15.111 0.340 0.003 126.980
29 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 62 15.120 0.349 0.009 126.905
30 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 64 15.121 0.350 0.001 126.896
31 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 56 15.160 0.389 0.039 126.570
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 59 15.248 0.477 0.088 125.839
33 51 United States Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 9 15.257 0.486 0.009 125.765
34 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 2 15.631 0.860 0.374 122.756
35 77 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 57 15.709 0.938 0.078 122.147
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