McMurray tops first NASCAR Cup practice at Kentucky
Jamie McMurray showed a little muscle during first practice at Kentucky Speedway on Friday.
The driver of the No. 1 Ganassi Racing posted the fastest single-lap speed of 186.760mph after the first hour of the session.
“We have had really fast cars at all of the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so hopefully Kentucky Speedway will be no exception,” McMurray said. “I think this race came down to a fuel mileage race last year so it will be interesting to see how that turns out with the stages this year.
“We participated in a Goodyear test there a few weeks ago and I felt like we had a really good test. We will have a new right-side tire for this weekend, so I’m looking forward to having a solid weekend .”
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10 speeds. Elliott’s 66 laps were the most completed during practice.
Early in the session, Blaney topped the leader board with a lap of 185.427mph after a four-lap run. Multiple Kentucky Speedway race winner Kyle Busch was second (184.275mph) followed by Kevin Harvick (184.011mph), Kurt Busch, Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Truex Jr., Chris Buescher, Bowyer and Bubba Wallace.
Thirty cars had completed laps in the first 10 minutes. Austin Dillon jumped up to ninth 15 minutes in with a lap of 183.038mph following a nine lap run. He was bumped to 10th after the Furniture Row cars of Truex and Erik Jones moved up to first and fifth, respectively on the leader board.
Blaney returned to the top in his second four-lap run just before the 20-minute mark. Truex moved to second with Kyle Busch, Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Jones and Elliott rounding out the top 10.
Thirty minutes into the session, Truex vaulted back to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 186.445mph. Over the next 15 minutes, 37 drivers had posted times. Truex held the top spot with Blaney, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse, Larson, Jones, Daniel Suarez, Hamlin, McMurray and Harvick completing the top 10 speeds.
One hour into first practice, McMurray emerged with the top speed — 186.780mph.
“I’m having trouble getting turned in the entry of the (right) corner,” McMurray said.
Truex was bumped to second followed by Blaney, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Larson, Elliott, Jones, Stenhouse and Johnson.Larson bounced to fourth 10 minutes later after completing his 26th lap.
With 30 minutes remaining in the 115-minute session, McMurray held top spot followed by Truex, Blaney, Larson, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Bowyer, Elliott, Jones and Stenhouse.
Despite Bowyer riding seventh, he wasn’t happy with the handling after 36 laps.
“We have a lot of work to do somehow,” Bowyer said. “That’s no good.”
Kyle Busch’s 57 laps completed was the most with 15 minutes remaining in the session. Five minutes later, Bubba Wallace, Matt Kenseth and others were practicing pit road speed.
|2||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||44||28.963||0.052||0.052||186.445|
|11||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||46||29.127||0.216||0.006||185.395|
|23||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Ford||44||29.422||0.511||0.021||183.536|
|24||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||50||29.456||0.545||0.034||183.324|
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