The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series took to the Monster Mile in Delaware on Friday for not one, but two practice sessions around the Dover International Speedway. These will serve as the only two Cup practice sessions of the weekend as they’ll only qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
In the first session, playoff drivers and Hendrick Motorsports stole the show.
Joey Logano topped the speed charts with a speed of 163.221 mph in his No. 22 Ford. That’s a good start for him in that he’s scored just one top five finish in his last 12 starts on the season and only two top fives since 2014 at Dover.
William Byron was second quick in his No. 24 Chevrolet. The second year driver circled the high banked concrete race track with a speed of 162.133 mph. Byron, has three top seven finishes in his last four starts on the season and four top eight’s in his last seven. He finished eighth at Dover back in May.
Third quickest was Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate of Jimmie Johnson. The 11-time Dover race winner turned in a speed of 161.834 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet.
Ryan Blaney (161.507 mph) was fourth in his No. 12 Ford while Alex Bowman (161.067 mph) rounded out the top five in his No. 88 Chevrolet to make it an all Penske-Hendrick top five in the opening session.
There were several playoff drivers on the outside of the top 10 in the opening session too. Kevin Harvick (11th), Martin Truex Jr. (12th), Chase Elliott (13th), Kyle Busch (15th), Clint Bowyer (18th) and Brad Keselowski (19th) were all 11th or worse.
Elliott, won last week’s race and is the defending race winner of the Dover playoff race. Truex, won this race last year.
Harvick though, was quickest in the 10 lap average while Johnson, Blaney, Bowman and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.
In final practice, it was playoff driver dominated. Larson, turned in the top speed with a lap of 162.705 mph in his No. 42 Chevrolet. He was 10th and first respectively on Friday. The California native was also quickest on the 10 lap average in final practice as well.
He was over a full mph quicker than the next best lap which was 161.388 mph set by Truex Jr. in his No. 19 Toyota. Truex, was sixth on the 10 lap average chart too.
Harvick (160.456 mph), Keselowski (160.385 mph) and Elliott (160.249 mph) rounded out the top five.