NXS: JGR Takes Speed to Vegas; Erik Jones and Suarez Lead Opening XFINITY Practice

Kyle Magda NASCAR, West 0 Comments

LAS VEGAS — Report by Race Chaser Online Northeast Correspondent Kyle Magda — Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America photo —

Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t lost a beat in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Kyle Busch won last weekend’s Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway as JGR came home with the trophy and a third-place showing from rookie Erik Jones.

For the second straight week, Jones showed his No. 20 Toyota was fast at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday afternoon.

The defending Camping World Truck Series champ circled around LVMS at 29.493 seconds (183.094 mph) with Interstate Batteries on the car for Saturday. The strong practice speeds at Atlanta transitioned over to the race, with the No. 20 car being towards the top of the charts. Jones was the only driver to top 183 mph in the session.

JGR teammate Daniel Suarez was second at 182.896 mph (29.525 seconds) and also looks for his first career series victory. Suarez and third-place Brendan Gaughan (182.106 mph) were the only two to fall into the 182 mph range as the top-seven ran a lap faster than 180 mph.

JGR and Richard Childress Racing cars completed the first seven spots, with Brandon Jones (181.886 mph) and Austin Dillon (181.733 mph) rounding out the top-five. Atlanta winner Kyle Busch was sixth and has yet to win an NXS event at Las Vegas. Ty Dillon, Daytona winner Chase Elliott, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Aric Almirola finished out the top-10. Wallace served as the fastest Ford, with Brad Keselowski back in 14th. Keselowski won at LVMS in 2014 en route to a weekend sweep in the Cup race.

Justin Marks returns to the series for the first time since last August at Road America in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (176.817 mph). He ran the 15th fastest time at 30.473 seconds (177.206 mph). Teammate Brennan Poole followed in suit at 16th quick, one year after making his series debut here.

38 cars took time during the session as the XFINITY Series has one more practice session at 6 p.m. ET and will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.


RESULTS: NASCAR XFINITY Series; First Practice; Las Vegas Motor Speedway; March 4, 2016:

  1. Erik Jones
  2. Daniel Suarez
  3. Brendan Gaughan
  4. Brandon Jones
  5. Austin Dillon
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Ty Dillon
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  10. Aric Almirola
  11. Justin Allgaier
  12. Elliott Sadler
  13. Ryan Reed
  14. Brad Keselowski
  15. Justin Marks
  16. Brennan Poole
  17. Dakoda Armstrong
  18. Ryan Sieg
  19. Blake Koch
  20. Jeb Burton
  21. Ross Chastain
  22. Corey LaJoie
  23. Jeremy Clements
  24. Ryan Preece
  25. Garrett Smithley
  26. J.J. Yeley
  27. Ross Chastain
  28. Ray Black Jr.
  29. David Starr
  30. Carl Long
  31. Todd Peck
  32. Mario Gosselin
  33. Joey Gase
  34. Derrike Cope
  35. Derek White
  36. Morgan Shepherd
  37. Harrison Rhodes
  38. Ryan Ellis


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