Kurt Busch was fastest in opening Sprint Cup Series practice at the Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 138.846 mph Friday morning.
Busch, who won the 2005 spring race at Phoenix and also won last weekend’s pole at Las Vegas, beat Joey Logano’s lap with just under five minutes to go in the hour-and-a-half-long session. Denny Hamlin ended up second with a speed of 138.467 mph and Logano third with his lap at 138.254 mph.
Teams focused on qualifying runs instead of worrying about race trim, with only two drivers staying out for 10-lap runs.
Martin Truex, Jr., with substitute crew chief Todd Berrier on the pit box in place of the suspended Cole Pearn, was fourth. Kevin Harvick, who has won five of the last seven Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and is coming off a second place finish in last year’s fall race, wound up fifth.
The practice session was red flagged 15 minutes in when Aric Almirola’s Ford began to smoke and possibly leaked fluid onto the racetrack. The track was cleaned and practice went back under green five minutes later. Almirola came back out and ended practice seventh.
Full practice results can be found here.