Toyota leads the charge in Kansas final practice

Toyota led the charge in Happy Hour at Kansas Speedway on Friday.

Toyota leads the charge in Kansas final practice
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

At the 75-minute mark, Martin Truex Jr. jumped to the top of the speed chart for single-lap runs with a speed of 187.696 mph.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth was second quick (187.617 mph) with his teammate Denny Hamlin running third (187.357 mph). Jimmie Johnson (187.285 mph) and Kyle Busch (187.214 mph) rounded out the top five — all in qualifying trim.

CLICK HERE for complete session results

Initially, Johnson’s first lap was the fastest of the final Sprint Cup practice session— 186.162 mph. However, after just one lap , Johnson had smoke pouring out of the hood of the No. 48 Chevy which had to be pushed back to the garage.

“Ronnie (Malec, car chief), what did I do,” asked Johnson as he crawled to a stop.

After the team assessed the issue, Johnson returned to the track and was just 0.011-seconds off of his original pace. The team remained in qualifying trim throughout the remainder of Happy Hour and saw no reason to change engines.

“It appears the No. 48 got into a similar condition that the No. 5 (Kasey Kahne) got into at Phoenix,” said Doug Duchardt, Hendrick Motorsports GM. “When it did that, it pumped some oil up into the intake manifold and that’s where the smoke came from. Based on the experience we had with Kasey’s engine in Phoenix, we felt comfortable checking the engine over, running it, getting the oil out of the top of the engine, and sending him back out. Jimmie went back out during practice.

“We will continue to monitor, and we have no plans on changing the engine at this time.”

Ryan Newman was sixth (187.000 mph) in single lap runs, followed by Aric Almirola (186.981 mph), Austin Dillon (186.761 mph) and Kyle Larson (196.696 mph).

Kurt Busch completed 51 laps — the most over the 80-minute session.

Kenseth also led the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages with a speed of 181.496 mph followed by Denny Hamlin (181.120 mph) and Kurt Busch (181.073 mph), who completed 51 laps — the most over the 80-minute session. Kyle Larson was fourth (180.938 mph) with Kevin Harvick (180.927 mph) rounding out the top five.

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