NSCS: Six-Time Showing Speed Out West; Johnson Tops Opening Cup Practice at Phoenix

Ryan O'Hara NASCAR, Southwest, West 0 Comments

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Report by Race Chaser Online West Correspondent Ryan O’Hara — Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America photo —

The speed from Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet at Texas stayed with him Friday at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval.

The four-time Phoenix winner and six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was quickest in Friday’s practice for Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. Johnson topped the charts with a lap of 25.383 seconds (141.827 mph).

Second was the No. 42 Target Chevrolet of Kyle Larson, who is still searching for his first Cup Series victory. He turned a lap of  25.391 seconds (141.783 mph) at the one-mile oval, just eight one-thousandths of a second slower than Johnson.

Kurt Busch ran the third fastest speed in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at 141.571 mph and had the best five-lap average among the field, while two-time Phoenix winner Carl Edwards (141.448 mph) and Jamie McMurray (25.475/141.315) rounded out the top five.

Defending Cup champion Kevin Harvick was sixth-quickest and third-fastest of the Chase drivers, with Chasers Martin Truex Jr. (eighth), Kyle Busch, (10th), Joey Logano (11th), and  Brad Keselowski (17th) further down the leaderboard. Logano and Keselowski, both from Team Penske, are in must-win situations in order to advance to the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup next weekend in Homestead.

Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon, whose spot at Homestead as one of the ‘Final Four’ is already assured, was 25th-quick — but had the best 10-and-15-lap averages of the session.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is on-track next for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (6:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM), which will set the grid for Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.


RESULTS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice; Phoenix International Raceway; Nov. 13, 2015

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


About the Writer

Ryan O’Hara is the West Coast Correspondent for Race Chaser Online. He is also an established boxing writer, serving as the Executive Editor for ThaBoxingVoice.com.

NASCAR came to O’Hara at an early age through a myriad of family and friends, with the Prescott, Ariz. native meeting Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the very first race he attended on November 5, 2000 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The 22-year-old is a soon to be early graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in Global Security and Intelligence Studies.

Email Ryan at: RaceChaserRyan@gmail.com

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @OHaraSports

Email Race Chaser Online at: news@racechaseronline.com

Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews

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