Kyle Larson tops lone Friday Cup practice

Kyle Larson posted the fastest lap in first practice with the new low downforce car at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday.

Kyle Larson tops lone Friday Cup practice
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Clint Bowyer, HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
Landon Cassill, Front Row Motorsports Ford, Chris Buescher, Front Row Motorsports Ford
Brian Vickers, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Ty Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Larson posted a lap of 28.740-seconds (192.202 mph), followed by Kasey Kahne (191.807 mph), AJ Allmendinger (190.975 mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (190.646 mph) and Austin Dillon (190.404 mph). 

Stenhouse also posted the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average of 180.648 mph, followed by Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin (177.524 mph), Kyle Busch (176.757 mph) and rookie Chase Elliott (176.184 mph). 

Kurt Busch, who was sixth fast with a lap of 29.129-seconds, but complained of a loose conditions — as many drivers did throughout the 90-minute practice.

“We did our job, other than the entry in three,” Busch said. “From the straightaway to “Atlanta” in 3, the car was sideways.” 

The second Ganassi Racing entry of Jamie McMurray was seventh, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. 

Elliott, who completed the most laps (31) complained of his rear grip starting to fade as his tires wore, was also the fastest rookie in single lap runs at16 followed by Ryan Blaney one position behind.

Hamlin, who nearly spun out on the apron towards the end of his run, posted the 23rd quick lap. He predicts the cars "will be a handful on Sunday".

Ty Dillon, substituting for Tony Stewart, ran 20 laps in the new package and ended up 25th fast with a lap of 188.334 mph. 

“I have to thank Stewart-Haas Racing for the opportunity to be in the 14 car,” Dillon said. “I think everyone wants to see Tony (Stewart) in this car. With those unfortunate circumstances, I was able to be in the car this weekend, which is good for me to get the experience in such great equipment. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity. It’s an honor to drive the 14 for Tony. I have high expectations for this weekend. 

“I said it earlier in the week that I always set my goals high. I want to run good in this car. I want to do good for Tony and Stewart-Haas Racing. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to run in the top-10 or top-15. I’m going to give it all I have. I’ve been talking with (crew chief) Mike (Bugarewicz) all week. I want to go out there and impress a lot of people and show people what I’m made of and what I can do in these race cars. Going back and forth will help me a lot, especially in my Xfinity car. It would be nice to get two good finishes here in Atlanta.”

shares
comments
NASCAR debuts lower downforce aero package at Atlanta

Previous article

NASCAR debuts lower downforce aero package at Atlanta

Next article

New NASCAR aero package means "significant change" for Goodyear

New NASCAR aero package means "significant change" for Goodyear
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Atlanta
Sub-event Friday practice
Location Atlanta Motor Speedway
Drivers Ty Dillon
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Author Lee Spencer
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020