DOVER, Del. — Just like he did in NASCAR XFINITY Series practice earlier in the morning, Kyle Larson paced the opening practice round for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Friday at Dover Int’l Speedway.
Larson took his No. 42 Target Chevrolet to the top of the board with a time of 22.512 seconds (159.915 mph), just under a half-tenth quicker than Matt Kenseth. The Chip Ganassi Racing young gun ran a total of 18 laps during the 85-minute session.
The result puts Larson back on target, so to speak, with his early season pace, after losing the points lead to Martin Truex Jr. due to his worst finish of the season in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kenseth’s lap of 22.556 seconds (159.603 mph) was good enough for the runner-up seat at the table in his No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota.
Appropriately, the duo of Larson and Kenseth battled it out for the win in last year’s AAA 400 Drive For Autism, with Kenseth coming out on top in a race where Larson admitted he was probably “too patient” afterwards.
The Toyotas of Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. followed in third and fourth, respectively, followed by the Stewart Haas Racing Ford of Kurt Busch.
Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Blaney, rookie Daniel Suarez and Chase Elliott completed the top 10 on speed.
10-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson landed 12th in the session, with Joey Logano ending up 15th and Kevin Harvick slotting in 17th at the end of the round.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying is scheduled for 3:45, live on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network.
Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…