Despite rule changes, Ryan Newman tops 204 mph at Talladega

A NASCAR rule change did little to slow speeds in Friday’s final Cup practice at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and some drivers even went faster.

Despite rule changes, Ryan Newman tops 204 mph at Talladega

Ryan Newman ended up posting an average speed of 204.157 mph to lead the final 50-minute session.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second (204.127 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. was third (204.114 mph). Rookie Matt Tifft was fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Paul Menard, Matt DiBenedetto and Denny Hamlin.

Prior to the start of the final session, NASCAR added a 1-inch wicker bill to the top of the rear spoiler and allowed teams to choose between two different rear gear ratios up until the start of Sunday’s race.

NASCAR and teams were hoping to reduce some of the rpms the engines were turning and lower the closing speeds.

In all, the top six drivers posted average lap speeds of more than 204 mph; the top nine topped 202 mph; and the top 24 exceeded 200 mph.

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Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 24 46.905     204.157
2 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 25 46.912 0.007 0.007 204.127
3 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 22 46.915 0.010 0.003 204.114
4 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 12 46.920 0.015 0.005 204.092
5 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 35 46.923 0.018 0.003 204.079
6 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 30 46.927 0.022 0.004 204.062
7 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 20 47.263 0.358 0.336 202.611
8 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 16 47.329 0.424 0.066 202.328
9 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 27 47.349 0.444 0.020 202.243
10 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 34 47.418 0.513 0.069 201.949
11 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 33 47.459 0.554 0.041 201.774
12 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 29 47.461 0.556 0.002 201.766
13 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 29 47.463 0.558 0.002 201.757
14 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 24 47.464 0.559 0.001 201.753
15 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 31 47.468 0.563 0.004 201.736
16 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 38 47.469 0.564 0.001 201.732
17 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 37 47.475 0.570 0.006 201.706
18 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 25 47.487 0.582 0.012 201.655
19 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 22 47.503 0.598 0.016 201.587
20 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 25 47.675 0.770 0.172 200.860
21 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 30 47.725 0.820 0.050 200.650
22 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 23 47.746 0.841 0.021 200.561
23 62 United States Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 26 47.763 0.858 0.017 200.490
24 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 18 47.777 0.872 0.014 200.431
25 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 26 48.014 1.109 0.237 199.442
26 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 24 48.417 1.512 0.403 197.782
27 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 21 48.438 1.533 0.021 197.696
28 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 16 48.536 1.631 0.098 197.297
29 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 18 48.569 1.664 0.033 197.163
30 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 19 48.579 1.674 0.010 197.122
31 81 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 24 48.811 1.906 0.232 196.185
32 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 15 48.984 2.079 0.173 195.492
33 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 16 49.033 2.128 0.049 195.297
34 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 11 49.149 2.244 0.116 194.836
35 52 Stanton Barrett  Chevrolet 11 49.385 2.480 0.236 193.905
36 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 13 50.335 3.430 0.950 190.245
37 77 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 13 50.559 3.654 0.224 189.402
38 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 13 50.580 3.675 0.021 189.324
39 51 Cody Ware  Ford 10 52.736 5.831 2.156 181.584
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Higher speeds, engine concerns prompt Talladega rule changes

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