Jimmie Johnson paced the field in today’s final practice for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson also had the fastest five-lap and ten-lap average. Hist fastest lap of 28.779 seconds was good enough to beat Joey Logano by over a tenth of a second. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick were fourth and fifth in practice and were the final two drivers to run a lap time under 29 seconds. The surprise in the top five was Casey Mears, who ended the 55 minute session around the 1.5-mile track in third place.
Making his return to Sprint Cup racing this weekend after undergoing heart surgery is Brian Vickers, who ended the session sixth on the charts. 2013 Las Vegas winner Matt Kenseth was seventh. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, and Austin Dillon, who will start first in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, completed the top ten.
Tomorrow’s pole-sitter Jeff Gordon will have to go to a back-up car for tomorrow’s race following contact with Danica Patrick, and as a result will start from the rear of the field.
With less than two minutes remaining in the session, David Ragan, who is filling in for an injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, got loose in turn one and slid up the track, hitting the wall with the right side of his car. Ragan will have to go to a backup car for the race.
The Kobalt 400 can be seen tomorrow at 3:30 PM EST on FOX.
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