Tony Stewart waited until the last lap and literally the last second, but when he crossed the finish line as time expired in Friday’s second Sprint Cup practice at Kansas Speedway, Stewart had jumped to the top of the speed charts.
On the last of 21 laps around the 1.5-mile layout, Stewart covered the distance at 192.809 mph and at 28.007 seconds.
“In that hour break we had (between the first and second practices), I sat in the garage the whole time and I know the car didn’t change, but it sure felt like it was a totally different race car,” Stewart said.
Stewart’s field-best speed was significantly faster than the top speed in the first practice session earlier in the afternoon: Kyle Larson at 189.076 mph.
Clint Bowyer, who hails from nearby Emporia, Kansas, is still seeking his first career Cup win at his home track. Bowyer was third-fastest (188.528 mph) in the first session and second-fastest right behind Stewart in the second session at 192.321 mph.
Six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, a two-time past winner at Kansas, was third-fastest in the second session at 193.239 mph.
Larson was fourth-fastest (192.178), followed by Stewart’s teammate, Kevin Harvick, at fifth-fastest (192.109).
Sixth through 10th in the second session were Jeff Gordon (191.850 mph), Brian Vickers (191.693), Ryan Newman (191.184), Justin Allgaier (191.157) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (191.110).
Just like the first practice, 44 drivers took to the track for the second session. Joe Nemecheck (184.660 mph), Landon Cassill (184.420) and Reed Sorenson (183.387) were the slowest drivers in the second session.
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