UPDATE (6 pm ET): Friday’s qualifying for Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race has been washed out by rain. With Kyle Busch being fastest in the early afternoon practice session earlier in the day, he will start Sunday’s race from the pole. Ryan Newman will start on the outside pole.
“Practice went well for us,” Busch said. “Our guys got us to where we needed to be. … TRD made some improvements for this weekend’s race. There’s a lot of things that need to happen in the race Sunday for us to get off to a good start and carry for the next 10 weeks.”
JOLIET, Ill. – Kyle Busch laid down the speed to beat in Friday’s first Sprint Cup practice at Chicagoland Speedway, turning a best lap in 21 circuits around the 1.5-mile track of 191.442 mph.
Only six of the 16 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup were among the 10 fastest in the session. Qualifying is scheduled for later in the day at 6:45 pm ET.
However, rainstorms are predicted for later this afternoon and throughout the evening, which could play havoc not only with Sprint Cup qualifying but also tonight’s Camping World Truck Series race.
Ryan Newman was second fastest at 191.042, followed by Carl Edwards (191.022 mph) and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (191.002).
Matt Kenseth was fifth-fastest (190.900), followed by Clint Bowyer (190.880), Jimmie Johnson (190.813), Jeff Gordon (190.752) and rookie Kyle Larson (190.604) and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray, who also clocked the exact same speed of 190.604 mph).
Kevin Harvick was 12th-fastest (190.584), followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (190.570), Kurt Busch (190.456), Brian Vickers (190.328) and rookie Austin Dillon (190.328).
A.J. Allmendinger was 17th-fastest (190.087), followed by Danica Patrick (189.907), Kasey Kahne (189.747) and Greg Biffle (189.640).
There has to be some concern in the Team Penske camp: Brad Keselowski was only able to net the 25th-fastest speed (189.155 mph), while teammate Joey Logano was 28th-fastest (188.818), the slowest of all 16 Chase entrants.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski