RICHMOND, Va. — Blake Koch led the way during Friday morning’s sole NASCAR XFINITY Series practice session at Richmond Raceway, taking Kaulig Racing to the top of the charts ahead of the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM).
Koch is one of the NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars in the ‘bubble zone’ of the 12-driver playoff grid, but had a strong early showing at the three-quarter-mile short track, posting a time of 21.967 seconds (122.912 mph) in the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet.
The 32-year-old is eighth in driver points and 10th on the provisional playoff grid with two races to go before the end of the regular season.
Rookie William Byron landed second-fastest overall, with a best lap of 22.106 seconds (122.139 mph) in the No. 9 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet. Byron is a three-time winner this season and leads the XFINITY Series playoff standings.
Needing a win in the next two races to crash the playoffs, Brandon Jones completed a sweep of the top-three positions by series-regulars with his No. 33 Phone Skope Chevrolet, touring the Richmond oval in 22.159 seconds (121.847 mph).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it a quartet of Chevrolets in fourth (22.164/121.819), with Ryan Reed rounding out the top five (22.207/121.583) as the fastest Ford.
Brad Keselowski, Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Spencer Gallagher and Brennan Poole completed the top 10.
Kyle Busch struggled in practice and ranked 11th on the board (22.359/120.757) as the best of the Toyota drivers, nearly four-tenths of a second off of Koch’s leading lap in practice.
Points leader Elliott Sadler was 13th-quick, while NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Christopher Bell landed 17th overall in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota.
Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series kicks off at 4:15 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN.
Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…