Speed will not a problem at Michigan International Speedway for Hendrick Motorsports.
Three Hendrick drivers are starting in the first four rows for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400, and this morning in Sprint Cup practice, three Hendrick drivers were among the Top 5 fastest speeds.
HMS teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were at the very top this morning, with Johnson posting a lap of 202.054 miles per hour and Gordon not far behind with his lap of 201.726 mph.
Gordon decided to end his practice early, later telling Fox Sports that they didn’t want to overtax his No. 24 Chevy.
“I think we’re just kind of looking at the big picture here of what we’re going to be tuning for in the race, which we feel like that next practice is going to be a lot closer to those race conditions,” he said.
“[Then there’s] reliability. We’re just recognizing that reliability here, even though it’s just 400 miles, it’s going to be crucial. So we didn’t want to put too many laps on it.”
Sunday’s polesitter, Kevin Harvick, was third-fastest for Stewart Haas Racing with a lap of 201.556 mph. Then came Ganassi rookie Kyle Larson in fourth (201.489) and another HMS driver, Kasey Kahne (201.354) in fifth.
Counting SHR’s Tony Stewart in sixth (201.106) and Ganassi’s Jamie McMurray in eighth (200.758), that made seven Chevrolet drivers in the Top 10 with Hendrick-built engines.
Brian Vickers (Toyota; 200.826) was seventh, while Austin Dillon (Chevy; 200.758) and Denny Hamlin (Toyota; 200.412) completed the Top 10 in ninth and 10th respectively.
Final Sprint Cup practice will take place later today at 12:30 p.m. ET.