Kevin Harvick, a former winner at Watkins Glen International in his days with Richard Childress Racing, was fastest in today’s first of two practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series on the New York State road course.
Harvick posted a lap of 68.652 seconds around the 2.4-mile circuit, which works out to an average speed of 128.474 mph inside the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
Following him was fellow Hendrick-powered driver Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports, who was second-fastest with a time of 68.992 seconds (127.841 mph).
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski was third in the session (69.690/126.560), followed by A.J. Allmendinger (69.801/126.359) in fourth and Marcos Ambrose in fifth (69.803/126.356).
Multiple incidents took place during the first Cup practice, with most of them coming at or near the track’s right-hand Carousel turn.
Landon Cassill brought out a caution flag when he spun and backed into the wall there. Also spinning there but avoiding damage were Kyle Larson and Paul Menard.
Additionally, Alex Kennedy lost control of his car in the uphill esses but avoided contact with the blue barriers. Tony Stewart also spent some time in the garage getting a transmission change on his car.
A second Cup practice is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET.