Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tops Larson in final Darlington Cup practice

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. topped Friday’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tops Larson in final Darlington Cup practice

Stenhouse’s average lap speed of 168.845 mph was set relatively early in the 50-minute session. Kyle Larson ended up second (168.764 mph) and William Byron was third (168.480 mph).

In six career starts at Darlington, Stenhouse’s best finish was 12th in last season’s Southern 500.

Kurt Busch, who topped the first session, ended up fourth and Matt DiBenedetto completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman.

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Larson had the fastest average lap speed (166.897 mph) among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. Hamlin and Kyle Busch were second and third, respectively, in that category.

About 11 minutes into the session, Aric Almirola slammed into the wall, doing extensive damage to the right side of his No. 10 Ford. 

 

The damage was severe enough that Almirola’s team elected to bring out his backup car, which means he’ll have to start Sunday night’s race from the rear of the field regardless of where he qualifies on Saturday.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 34 29.125     168.845
2 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 42 29.139 0.014 0.014 168.764
3 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 47 29.188 0.063 0.049 168.480
4 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 50 29.226 0.101 0.038 168.261
5 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 38 29.228 0.103 0.002 168.250
6 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 53 29.230 0.105 0.002 168.238
7 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 59 29.235 0.110 0.005 168.209
8 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 49 29.245 0.120 0.010 168.152
9 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 61 29.275 0.150 0.030 167.980
10 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 43 29.291 0.166 0.016 167.888
11 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 44 29.296 0.171 0.005 167.859
12 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 49 29.318 0.193 0.022 167.733
13 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 8 29.319 0.194 0.001 167.727
14 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 51 29.321 0.196 0.002 167.716
15 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 50 29.324 0.199 0.003 167.699
16 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 45 29.340 0.215 0.016 167.607
17 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 26 29.357 0.232 0.017 167.510
18 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 42 29.374 0.249 0.017 167.413
19 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 45 29.387 0.262 0.013 167.339
20 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 44 29.416 0.291 0.029 167.174
21 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 38 29.431 0.306 0.015 167.089
22 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 22 29.466 0.341 0.035 166.891
23 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 41 29.553 0.428 0.087 166.399
24 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 40 29.568 0.443 0.015 166.315
25 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 12 29.573 0.448 0.005 166.287
26 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 39 29.598 0.473 0.025 166.146
27 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 38 29.613 0.488 0.015 166.062
28 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 41 29.621 0.496 0.008 166.017
29 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 33 29.806 0.681 0.185 164.987
30 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 46 29.816 0.691 0.010 164.932
31 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 40 29.870 0.745 0.054 164.633
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 34 30.113 0.988 0.243 163.305
33 54 United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 7 31.191 2.066 1.078 157.661
34 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 16 31.813 2.688 0.622 154.578
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Series NASCAR Cup
Event Darlington
Author Jim Utter
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