Kevin Harvick fastest in Saturday's first Cup practice at Fontana

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Kevin Harvick fastest in Saturday's first Cup practice at Fontana
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Mar 16, 2019, 5:09 PM

Kevin Harvick set the pace early and led Saturday’s first NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Auto Club Speedway.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Busch Beer Car2Can
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops

Harvick’s average lap speed of 175.867 mph topped the leaderboard and he set the mark very early in the 50-minute session.

Kyle Busch was second fastest (175.773 mph) and Brad Keselowski was third (175.644 mph). Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Hemric completed the top-five.

“Auto Club Speedway is by far one of my favorite tracks we go to. It’s top three on my list as far as tracks that I’m excited to go to, just for the fact that the asphalt is so worn out,” Harvick said.

“It is very similar to Atlanta in a much different shape of a race track. It’s a very unique race track because it is so wide and you have so many options to run all over the race track. When you add in the tire falloff, then it becomes strategy.

“There are so many things that come into play, but it has become a great race and a great race track to race on.”

Harvick has one career win at Auto Club, coming in 2011. In his last two starts at the track, he’s finished no better than 13th and wrecked early in last year’s event.

Rounding out the Top 10 speeds in practice were Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher.

With about nine minutes left in the session, Kyle Larson appeared to tag the wall in Turn 4 while racing around Denny Hamlin but the damage did not appear to be extensive.

Keselowski had the fastest average lap speed of all the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps.

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Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 22 40.940     175.867
2 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 37 40.962 0.022 0.022 175.773
3 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 34 40.992 0.052 0.030 175.644
4 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 16 41.014 0.074 0.022 175.550
5 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 37 41.047 0.107 0.033 175.409
6 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 28 41.080 0.140 0.033 175.268
7 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 29 41.125 0.185 0.045 175.076
8 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 26 41.131 0.191 0.006 175.050
9 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 23 41.162 0.222 0.031 174.919
10 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 28 41.181 0.241 0.019 174.838
11 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 33 41.222 0.282 0.041 174.664
12 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 22 41.235 0.295 0.013 174.609
13 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 28 41.268 0.328 0.033 174.469
14 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 31 41.283 0.343 0.015 174.406
15 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 14 41.294 0.354 0.011 174.359
16 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 29 41.330 0.390 0.036 174.208
17 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 25 41.353 0.413 0.023 174.111
18 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 22 41.363 0.423 0.010 174.069
19 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 33 41.425 0.485 0.062 173.808
20 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 27 41.438 0.498 0.013 173.754
21 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 25 41.439 0.499 0.001 173.749
22 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 30 41.496 0.556 0.057 173.511
23 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 26 41.509 0.569 0.013 173.456
24 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 34 41.513 0.573 0.004 173.440
25 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 27 41.522 0.582 0.009 173.402
26 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 23 41.532 0.592 0.010 173.360
27 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 14 41.570 0.630 0.038 173.202
28 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 22 41.571 0.631 0.001 173.198
29 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 24 41.646 0.706 0.075 172.886
30 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 10 41.811 0.871 0.165 172.203
31 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 7 42.099 1.159 0.288 171.025
32 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 6 42.292 1.352 0.193 170.245
33 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 14 42.724 1.784 0.432 168.524
34 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 16 42.741 1.801 0.017 168.457
35 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 11 43.160 2.220 0.419 166.821
36 77 United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 12 43.590 2.650 0.430 165.175
37 52 United States B.J. McLeod  Ford 7 43.939 2.999 0.349 163.864
38 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 10 45.878 4.938 1.939 156.938
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Brad Keselowski leads wave of Fords in final Cup practice

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Fontana
Author Jim Utter
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