Hamlin bounces back from damage, tops Happy Hour

It’s been all Toyota, all the time at Bristol Motor Speedway — and happy hour was no different.

Hamlin bounces back from damage, tops Happy Hour
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Listen to this article

Denny Hamlin, who sustained right front damage after an incident with Danica Patrick earlier in the day, set the pace for single lap runs with a time of 15.213-seconds (126.129 mph). 

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE SESSION RESULTS

“It’s not bad, really no negatives there,” said Hamlin, who was still looking for the car to turn better with less than 15 minutes remaining in final practice.

Hamlin also led first practice and was fourth quick in Best Consecutive 10 Lap Averages with a speed of 124.045 mph. 

Rookie Chase Elliott, who completed the most laps (97) during the 55-minute session, jumped to second quick (125.823 mph) in the closing minutes of Happy Hour followed by Joe Gibbs Racing-powered Toyotas of Martin Truex Jr. (125.749 mph), polesitter Carl Edwards (125.691 mph) and Kyle Busch (125.395 mph), who led second practice.

The Chevys of Jimmie Johnson (125.313 mph), Kevin Harvick (125.199 mph), Kyle Larson (125.126 mph) and Kasey Kahne (125.109 mph) rounded out the top nine. JGR’s Matt Kenseth was 10th fast (124.735 mph) to place all four of the Gibbs cars into the top 10 on speed.

Larson, who spent the session rim-riding dangerously close to the wall, led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average runs with a speed of 124.657 mph, followed by Kyle Busch (124.561 mph), Edwards (124.083 mph), Hamlin, Johnson (124.036 mph), Keselowski (123.804 mph), Kahne (123.788 mph), Elliott (123.756 mph), Truex (123.637 mph) and Kenseth (123.515 mph).

There were a couple of anxious moments throughout practice as drivers moved up the race track, searching for the fastest line around the 0.533-mile oval including two-time Bristol victor Keselowski, who barely missed the wall with four minutes remaining in the final session.

“Higher than most right there, higher than most,” spotter Joey Meier told Keselowski. “Just for your information, you had just about a car length there before you hit the wall.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled early on but was able to dial the car in through the session to post the 11th fastest single lap run (124.630 mph). 

"That's good, that helped the roll in the center quite a bit," Earnhardt said. “Good change...still lacking a little lateral in throttle."

shares
comments
Kyle Busch: Strong start shows his championship "wasn't some fluke"
Previous article

Kyle Busch: Strong start shows his championship "wasn't some fluke"

Next article

Matt Kenseth asserts that he isn't considering retirement

Matt Kenseth asserts that he isn't considering retirement
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021