Coming off a Top-5 finish last weekend at Martinsville, Brad Keselowski topped today’s final practice session for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap of 189.440 miles per hour – just ahead of Chase for the Sprint Cup co-leader Matt Kenseth.
Kenseth (189.434 mph) had an altogether smoother “Happy Hour” than Jimmie Johnson, with whom he shares the championship lead going into Sunday’s pivotal race.
Johnson managed to turn in the 16th-quickest time (186.722 mph) after having to deal with a tire rub and then an issue with the accelerator on his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Paul Menard (189.168 mph) was third-quickest in final practice, followed by Texas spring winner Kyle Busch in fourth (188.937 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (188.818 mph) in fifth. Truex was very strong at Texas back in April but lost the lead late to eventual winner Busch off the final round of pit stops.
In terms of best consecutive 10-lap averages, Kenseth was at the top as his first 10 laps of final practice averaged around 185.323 mph. Keselowski had the second-best average, followed by those of Johnson, Truex, and Kasey Kahne.
Earlier in the first Saturday practice run, Clint Bowyer led the way with a lap of 188.422 miles per hour. Busch, Keselowski, Truex, and Biffle completed the Top-5 in that particular session.