NSCS: Keselowski Quick, Penske Driver Tops First Cup Practice at Texas

RaceChaser Staff MidSouth, NASCAR 0 Comments

FORT WORTH, Tex. — official series release — Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America photo —

Brad Keselowski rose to the top of the leaderboard in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Keselowski drove the Team Penske No. 2 Ford to a best lap of 197.059 mph around the 1.5-mile track in preparation for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM), the eighth of 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs.

Defending series champion Kevin Harvick, driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet, was second-fastest in the 85-minute session, clocking a fast lap of 196.421 mph. Carl Edwards, a three-time Texas winner, was third-best at 196.249 in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota.

Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing’s second-year driver, was fourth-fastest. Joey Logano, who had his three-race win streak snapped last weekend after a controversial run-in with rival Matt Kenseth, drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford to the fifth-fastest lap.

Erik Jones, the 19-year-old rookie subbing for the suspended Kenseth in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, was eighth-fastest in first practice as he readies for his second career Sprint Cup start.

Jeff Gordon, last week’s winner at Martinsville and the first automatic qualifier for the championship finale Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was 19th-fastest. His Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet showed minor damage and tire smoke from the left-rear fender in the early stages of first practice.

Jimmie Johnson, winner of two consecutive Texas events and four of the last six races in the Lone Star State, was 14th-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet.

The rest of the Chase contenders: Kurt Busch (10th), Kyle Busch (11th), Martin Truex Jr. (20th).

Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice; Texas Motor Speedway; November 6, 2015:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Jamie McMurray
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Erik Jones
  9. Greg Biffle
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Kyle Busch
  12. Kasey Kahne
  13. Denny Hamlin
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Clint Bowyer
  16. Trevor Bayne
  17. Austin Dillon
  18. Sam Hornish Jr.
  19. Jeff Gordon
  20. Martin Truex Jr.
  21. Ryan Newman
  22. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  23. A.J. Allmendinger
  24. David Ragan
  25. Casey Mears
  26. Paul Menard
  27. Tony Stewart
  28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  29. Aric Almirola
  30. Brian Scott
  31. Alex Bowman
  32. J.J. Yeley
  33. Danica Patrick
  34. Michael McDowell
  35. Brett Moffitt
  36. Jeb Burton
  37. Justin Allgaier
  38. Cole Whitt
  39. Michael Annett
  40. David Gilliland
  41. Landon Cassill
  42. Matt DiBenedetto
  43. Joey Gase
  44. Reed Sorenson
  45. Ryan Preece

CREDIT: NASCAR

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