RICHMOND, Va. — 19-year-old Kyle Benjamin got up to speed quickly during NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice on Friday afternoon at Richmond Int’l Raceway.
The Easley, S.C. driver posted the fastest time in happy hour, turning a lap of 23.061 seconds (117.081 mph) in the No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota. Benjamin will make his series debut on Saturday at the three-quarter mile oval.
“It was a lot of fun in practice; it’s really hot and slick out,” Benjamin said. “We made some really good adjustments during practice to get to P1 right there. Really got the car rotating nice; I’m pretty excited what to see we have for tomorrow.”
Benjamin last competed at Richmond in September of 2015, but the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race he ran that day was under the lights, making Friday’s daytime track conditions a new animal for him to master.
“It’s really tight during the day; it’s all about having to get your car to turn,” Benjamin said. “A lot of people can’t make their cars turn. I feel like we did a good job making ours turn so I’m really excited about what we found in practice and see how it transfers over. Pretty excited to have ToyotaCare on the car and representing them.”
The No. 20 team is coming off back-to-back wins in the XFINITY Series at Texas and Bristol with Erik Jones, who is not entered in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson was second on the speed charts (23.168/116.540) in his No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, followed by teammate Brennan Poole in third (23.190/116.429).
Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon were fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by rookie Quin Houff, who practiced sixth-quick in just his second-ever series start for Precision Performance Motorsports.
Cole Custer was the fastest Ford in 10th.
Larson had the fastest 10-lap average in the session (115.405 mph), followed by Allgaier, Benjamin, Ty Dillon and Austin Dillon in that category.
Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series rolls off at 10:05 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1.
Audio and full results from practice can be found on the next page…