Hendrick drivers lead Cup practice at Nashville

Even though the NASCAR Cup Series races at a new track this weekend, Hendrick Motorsports drivers still look like the ones to beat.

Hendrick drivers lead Cup practice at Nashville

Teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson actually posted the same best average lap speed during Saturday’s 50-minute practice session at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (161.081 mph).

Fellow Hendrick driver Chase Elliott ended up third (161.022 mph), while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (159.600 mph) and Tyler Reddick (159.568 mph) rounded out the top-five.

Counting last weekend’s non-points All-Star Race, HMS drivers have won the past five races in the Cup series, with Larson leading the way during the stretch with three.

NASCAR is making its first return to this track in 10 years but the Cup series has never conducted a race on the 1.33-mile concrete oval.

Completing the top-10 in single-car speeds were Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and HMS driver Alex Bowman.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Larson had the best average speed (157.488 mph). He was followed by Chastain and Kevin Harvick in that category.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 29 29.724     161.082
2 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 37 29.724 0.000 0.000 161.082
3 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 39 29.735 0.011 0.011 161.022
4 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 36 30.000 0.276 0.265 159.600
5 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 36 30.006 0.282 0.006 159.568
6 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 24 30.033 0.309 0.027 159.425
7 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 34 30.035 0.311 0.002 159.414
8 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 33 30.037 0.313 0.002 159.403
9 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 24 30.066 0.342 0.029 159.250
10 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 27 30.102 0.378 0.036 159.059
11 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 19 30.105 0.381 0.003 159.043
12 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 37 30.232 0.508 0.127 158.375
13 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 39 30.276 0.552 0.044 158.145
14 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 15 30.301 0.577 0.025 158.015
15 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 33 30.325 0.601 0.024 157.890
16 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 34 30.401 0.677 0.076 157.495
17 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 37 30.421 0.697 0.020 157.391
18 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 25 30.447 0.723 0.026 157.257
19 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 32 30.448 0.724 0.001 157.252
20 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 27 30.459 0.735 0.011 157.195
21 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 37 30.463 0.739 0.004 157.174
22 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 41 30.486 0.762 0.023 157.056
23 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 35 30.486 0.762 0.000 157.056
24 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 37 30.502 0.778 0.016 156.973
25 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 37 30.513 0.789 0.011 156.917
26 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 20 30.569 0.845 0.056 156.629
27 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 37 30.610 0.886 0.041 156.419
28 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 31 30.624 0.900 0.014 156.348
29 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 35 30.624 0.900 0.000 156.348
30 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 26 30.628 0.904 0.004 156.328
31 51 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 22 30.858 1.134 0.230 155.162
32 53 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 17 31.127 1.403 0.269 153.821
33 77 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 32 31.151 1.427 0.024 153.703
34 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 16 31.538 1.814 0.387 151.817
35 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 16 31.545 1.821 0.007 151.783
36 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 26 31.670 1.946 0.125 151.184
37 66 United States Chad Finchum Toyota 13 31.731 2.007 0.061 150.893
38 13 United States David Starr Toyota 18 32.165 2.441 0.434 148.857
39 15 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 24 32.174 2.450 0.009 148.816
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