Truex fastest in final Cup practice; Keselowski and Byron tangle

Martin Truex Jr. was fastest in Thursday’s final NASCAR Cup Series practice which was highlighted by an incident between Brad Keselowski and William Byron.

Truex fastest in final Cup practice; Keselowski and Byron tangle

Truex led the way with an average lap speed of 206.936 mph in the final session – one of six drivers to post average lap speeds in excess of 206 mph.

Truex’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin was second (206.738 mph) and Erik Jones was third (206.724 mph). Matt DiBenedetto and Matt Tifft rounded out the top-five.

About 28 minutes into the session, Byron was leading a small pack of cars on the track when Keselowski drove up behind him, hit him twice and sent Byron spinning off the track.

Byron was able to collect his No. 24 Chevrolet and prevent it from turning back up the track, but it did suffer significant damage to the right-rear. The team finally decided to move to a backup and he will have to start Saturday night’s race from the rear of the field.

Sending a message

In the garage after he finished practice, Keselowski said he was “sending a message.”

“I hate it for his team that they have to work on their car and so does ours but just trying to send a message that I’m not lifting,” he said. “I’m tired of getting wrecked at plate tracks. I’ve been wrecked out of four of the last five races quite honestly because I’ve let people pull moves on me like that.

“They’re all watching now.”

 

Asked for his take after the incident, Byron said, “I mean it’s practice, you know I get it but I don’t think that was really necessary to turn us there. … I really expect that, that’s alright. It’s not like I changed four lanes down the backstretch and blocked him. I was just kind of holding my lane and he just used his run to drive into my left rear. That’s alright at least I saved it.”

Rounding out the top-10 in practice were Parker Kligerman, Clint Bowyer, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Hemric and Ty Dillon.

Kyle Busch was fastest in Thursday’s first practice session.

Read Also:

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 17 43.703     205.936
2 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 25 43.745 0.042 0.042 205.738
3 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 15 43.748 0.045 0.003 205.724
4 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 30 43.821 0.118 0.073 205.381
5 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 21 43.840 0.137 0.019 205.292
6 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 11 43.859 0.156 0.019 205.203
7 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 19 44.042 0.339 0.183 204.350
8 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 27 44.121 0.418 0.079 203.984
9 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 23 44.317 0.614 0.196 203.082
10 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 30 44.362 0.659 0.045 202.876
11 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 20 44.389 0.686 0.027 202.753
12 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 24 44.458 0.755 0.069 202.438
13 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 27 44.472 0.769 0.014 202.375
14 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 23 44.476 0.773 0.004 202.356
15 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 27 44.483 0.780 0.007 202.324
16 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 26 44.489 0.786 0.006 202.297
17 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 29 44.496 0.793 0.007 202.265
18 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 33 44.500 0.797 0.004 202.247
19 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 11 44.524 0.821 0.024 202.138
20 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 31 44.531 0.828 0.007 202.106
21 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 28 44.537 0.834 0.006 202.079
22 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 22 44.574 0.871 0.037 201.911
23 62 United States Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 17 45.143 1.440 0.569 199.366
24 52 United States J.J. Yeley  Ford 4 45.199 1.496 0.056 199.119
25 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 14 45.308 1.605 0.109 198.640
26 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 17 45.313 1.610 0.005 198.618
27 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 22 45.334 1.631 0.021 198.526
28 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 17 45.368 1.665 0.034 198.378
29 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 9 45.618 1.915 0.250 197.291
30 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 15 45.702 1.999 0.084 196.928
31 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 13 45.837 2.134 0.135 196.348
32 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 13 45.988 2.285 0.151 195.703
33 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 10 46.074 2.371 0.086 195.338
34 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Ford 8 46.090 2.387 0.016 195.270
35 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 5 47.153 3.450 1.063 190.868
36 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 8 47.373 3.670 0.220 189.982
37 15 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 4 47.475 3.772 0.102 189.573
38 77 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 11 49.251 5.548 1.776 182.737
39 53 United States Joey Gase  Chevrolet 6 49.665 5.962 0.414 181.214
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Kyle Busch gets some Ford help to lead first practice at Daytona

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Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona II
Author Jim Utter
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