Greg Biffle led Thursday’s testing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in advance of this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400.
Biffle’s fastest lap, 189.427mph, came on his 59th of 61 laps turned Thursday around the 1.5-mile oval in the second afternoon session of the day.
Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin set identical laps of 189.142, with Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.
Denny Hamlin, who had the most newsworthy day by virtue of his being fined $25,000 for remarks made after last week’s race at Phoenix, clocked in 25th on the speed charts at 184.875mph. He was one spot ahead of last year’s Las Vegas winner, Tony Stewart.
Danica Patrick led the three-car Stewart Haas Racing contingent in 19th. She recorded her best ever finish in NASCAR, fourth in the Nationwide Series, at Las Vegas in 2011.
Qualifying is Friday with the race at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday.
Tickets on sale for 2019 IndyCar race at Circuit of the Americas
Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas March 22-24, 2019 and in grand Texas fashion, the series and track kicked off the sale with appearances by Simon Pagenaud and Colton Herta in San Antonio and Austin respectively.
The CoTA race will be the second race of the 2019 season.
The highly anticipated debut of IndyCar at CoTA adds another marquee event to the track’s schedule along with Formula 1, World Rallycross and the Pirelli World Challenge.
Pagenaud was joined by retired San Antonio Sours player Brent Barry and local businessman Red McCombs as they visited the Alamo and world famous McNay Art Museum.
This will be IndyCar’s first trip to the track, but Pagenaud came within one position of winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2018. Driving for Team Penske, he started and second behind his teammate Josef Newgarden and finished a season-best second to Scott Dixon.
Pagenaud hopes to add to his current 11 victories after going winless in 2018.
After visting San Antonio, focus shifted to Austin where Herta was joined by Jay Frye, President of Competition and Operations at IndyCar and Bobby Epstein, Chairman of Circuit of the Americas.
Herta took to the streets of Austin and visited the Texas State Capitol building as part of his tour.
Herta, who will turn 19-years-old the week after IndyCar visits CoTA, will campaign for Rookie of the Year honors in 2019. He has one previous start in the series at Sonoma this September. He qualified 19th and completed all 85 laps before finishing 20th in the 25-car field.
In 33 starts in Indy Lights competition, Herta has six wins, 20 podium finishes and nine poles.