Martin Truex Jr. continued a run of strong superspeedway showings on Saturday, topping final practice for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Truex ran a scorching 37.553-second, 191.729-mph lap to top the session for Furniture Row Racing.
Ryan Blaney served as the surprise of the session, running a 37.810-second lap to take sixth on the charts in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford. Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick finished out the top 10.
Two of Friday’s top qualifiers suffered significant setbacks in the 55-minute session. Busch, who qualified sixth for Sunday’s race, was forced to a backup after spinning through the infield at the 2-mile oval. Busch was critical of infield grass following the incident.
Dillon appeared to be a darkhorse for the weekend, qualifying fourth and showing speed throughout Saturday’s practices. However, Dillon was forced off-track when his engine shut off with issues in the final minutes of final practice. If his team is unable to fix the motor, both Dillon and Busch will be forced to start at the tail-end of the field after moving to backup cars.
Teams started the session in packs, looking to test the new high-drag rules package. However, severe handling issues associated with the package left teams and drivers choosing to run single-file by the session’s end.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return tomorrow for the Pure Michigan 400. Coverage for the event will begin a 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN.
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.
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