Larson leads opening Cup practice at NHMS, Hamlin crashes

Kyle Larson topped first practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday with a single-lap run of 133.971mph.

Larson leads opening Cup practice at NHMS, Hamlin crashes

The absence of crew chief Chad Johnston, who was suspended for three races after failing post-race suspension following Kentucky Speedway, had no effect on the No. 42 car’s speed.

Martin Truex Jr. (133.217mph) was second followed by Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, rookie Erik Jones and Kurt Busch.

Aric Almirola was the first car on the track. He returned to competition at New Hampshire following an eight-race recovery period after fracturing his T5 vertebra following a multi-car wreck at Kansas Speedway on May 13.

After 10 minutes, 13 cars completed initial runs with Erik Jones posting the fastest lap followed by AJ Allmendinger, Almirola, Logano, Harvick, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, David Ragan, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon.

Before the 15 minute mark, called a caution for fluid on the Magic Mile.

When the track returned to competition, Kevin Harvick (129.652mph) shot to the top of the speed chart — but it was short-lived. Ryan Blaney (130.220mph) passed him followed by Logano (130.470mph).

“The exit is a little bit free but I’m having a hard time committing,” said McMurray, who was eighth after five laps. “Definitely free exit.”

NASCAR released drivers serving 15-minute practice for being late to pre-race inspection at Kentucky Speedway. Landon Cassill, Gray Gaulding, Cole Whitt and Michael McDowell joined the session.

Twenty-five minutes into the session, Logano remained on top followed by Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger and Kurt Busch.

Reports of sprinkles on the drivers’ windshields started just before the 30-minute mark

After Almirola completed his second run and 17 laps, he lined up 24th.

“Not any better than the first run, “I’m loose into (Turn) 3 and I need more turn.”

Larson (131.067mph), Hamlin, McMurray, Logano, Blaney, Bowyer, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10 after the first 30 minutes.

Forty-five minutes into the 85-minute session, Kyle Busch capture the top spot with a lap of 132.665mph. Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.

After the first hour, Larson returned to the top with a qualifying run of 133.712mph. Kyle Busch, McMurray, Kahne, Truex, Kenseth, Allmendinger, Newman, Keselowski and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.

Hamlin wrecked on a mock qualifying coming out of Turn 4 after one hour and eight minutes into first practice to ignite the second caution. Hamlin destroyed the front end of the car after his nose hit the wall.

With 15 minutes remaining, Larson remained the fastest car followed by Truex, Busch, McMurray, Kahne, Kenseth, Allmendinger, Newman, Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 26 28.430     133.971
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 14 28.591 0.161 0.161 133.217
3 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 12 28.607 0.177 0.016 133.142
4 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 21 28.672 0.242 0.065 132.840
5 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 17 28.703 0.273 0.031 132.697
6 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 13 28.801 0.371 0.098 132.245
7 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 31 28.808 0.378 0.007 132.213
8 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 13 28.816 0.386 0.008 132.177
9 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 29 28.828 0.398 0.012 132.122
10 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 19 28.844 0.414 0.016 132.048
11 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 27 28.848 0.418 0.004 132.030
12 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 33 28.853 0.423 0.005 132.007
13 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 30 28.895 0.465 0.042 131.815
14 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 32 28.926 0.496 0.031 131.674
15 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 24 28.930 0.500 0.004 131.656
16 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 23 28.930 0.500 0.000 131.656
17 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 31 28.934 0.504 0.004 131.638
18 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 21 28.937 0.507 0.003 131.624
19 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 12 28.977 0.547 0.040 131.442
20 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 30 28.999 0.569 0.022 131.342
21 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 33 29.051 0.621 0.052 131.107
22 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 26 29.088 0.658 0.037 130.941
23 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 25 29.091 0.661 0.003 130.927
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 29 29.092 0.662 0.001 130.923
25 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 22 29.119 0.689 0.027 130.801
26 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 25 29.140 0.710 0.021 130.707
27 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 20 29.145 0.715 0.005 130.685
28 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 24 29.155 0.725 0.010 130.640
29 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 22 29.223 0.793 0.068 130.336
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 24 29.328 0.898 0.105 129.869
31 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 13 29.330 0.900 0.002 129.860
32 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 22 29.344 0.914 0.014 129.798
33 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 38 29.446 1.016 0.102 129.349
34 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 31 29.725 1.295 0.279 128.135
35 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 18 29.833 1.403 0.108 127.671
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 18 29.927 1.497 0.094 127.270
37 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 13 29.931 1.501 0.004 127.253
38 83 united_states Ryan Sieg  Toyota 22 29.958 1.528 0.027 127.138
39 51 united_states Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 17 30.643 2.213 0.685 124.296
shares
comments
Johnson weighs in on the best candidates for Hendrick Motorsports

Previous article

Johnson weighs in on the best candidates for Hendrick Motorsports

Next article

Joey Logano's playoff worries "can change in the snap of a finger"

Joey Logano's playoff worries "can change in the snap of a finger"
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
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