Reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson led the way in final practice for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 193.791 mph in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Johnson also claimed the fastest 10-lap average in “Happy Hour” with a run of 188.771 mph over his first 10 laps.
The three-time Texas race winner was followed by Chase driver Ryan Newman in second (193.771), Paul Menard in third (193.597), another Chase driver in Joey Logano (193.396), and last week’s Martinsville winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (192.954).
Two more Chasers were among the Top 10, as Carl Edwards was eighth (192.575) and Sunday’s polesitter, Matt Kenseth, was 10th (191.714).
“We’ve gotta keep working on it,” Edwards told Fox Sports. “We did try a lot of stuff. I’m really proud of my guys – they’re able to make it through all sorts of different things. We’ve just gotta be able to make the car balanced in the spots it needs to be.
“…We have a ton of speed. I can go and lay down a super-fast lap. But we’ve just got to keep working on the long runs. That’s what this race is gonna be about tomorrow.”
Kenseth was also searching for an ideal situation with his own car, which he called “kind of a work in progress.”
“We’re not where we need to be for tomorrow, but I feel like we got through a lot of stuff and have a lot of stuff to look at tonight,” he told Fox.
As for the other Chasers: Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick ended the session with the 11th and 12th-fastest laps respectively, while Brad Keselowski was 14th. Rounding out the Eliminator 8 was Chase Grid leader Jeff Gordon in 24th.
The green flag for Sunday’s 334-lap event is slated to fall shortly after 3 p.m. ET.