Roush Fenway Racing rookie Chris Buescher led this afternoon’s first practice at Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which returns to action this weekend after a two-week layoff.
Buescher logged nine laps in the session, but posted the fastest lap at 186.085 mph in the No. 60 Ford Fusion. He was followed by Sprint Cup regular Joey Logano, who was second-quickest (185.255) despite running just two laps in the entire session because of an issue under the hood of his No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
Buescher’s teammate, Trevor Bayne, completed a 1-2-3 sweep for the Blue Oval in the practice with his P3 lap of 184.811 mph in the No. 6 Fusion.
Cup rookie Austin Dillon, making his first NNS start of the season, was fourth (184.370) in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, and RCR teammate Brian Scott completed the Top 5 (184.200).
Ryan Blaney, driving Penske’s No. 12 car this weekend, was sixth, followed by the fastest Toyota man, Elliott Sadler, in seventh. Kevin Harvick, Brendan Gaughan, and Ryan Reed rounded out the Top 10 fastest drivers.
As for championship leader Chase Elliott, he was a bit farther down the charts in 15th (182.248). Elliott, up by 42 points over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith with three races to go, is returning to Texas after claiming his first NNS victory there this past spring. Smith was 17th-quickest in this opening session (181.739).
The NNS contingent will have an additional 90-minute practice session later today from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.