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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Austin Dillon, Blake Koch Fastest In Friday XFINITY Practices At Bristol

The question of the 2016 XFINITY Series season so far has been not who will beat Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing, but if they can be beat? Outside of the restrictor plate race at Daytona and a crazy race at Auto Club, nobody has really stepped up to the Toyota powerhouse until Friday.

For the first time since Daytona, a JGR car wasn’t fastest in at least one Friday practice session. Although they still remain heavy favorites for tomorrow’s race, one has to wonder if there may be a crack or two in JGR’s reign of terror.

Practice No. 1

Four Chevrolets swept the top four spots as Austin Dillon sped to first with a lap at 15.570 seconds (123.237 mph). Fellow Cup driver Kyle Larson was second at 15.588 seconds (123.095 mph) and Dillon’s teammate Brandon Jones (15.598 seconds, 123.016 mph) was third.

Another Richard Childress Racing driver, Brendan Gaughan, ended this session fourth. Busch was the lone Toyota in the top 5, rounding out the Chevrolets at fifth.

21 drivers were on track for ten consecutive laps at some point in this session. The fastest of all of them was Justin Allgaier with an average speed of 121.341 mph. Six years ago this weekend, Justin Allgaier won his very first NASCAR National Touring Series race, beating out then-teammate Brad Keselowski in an exciting duel in the Xfinity Series race.

Full results can be found here.

Practice No. 2

Blake Koch, the underdog driver from Florida in Kaulig Racing‘s LeafFilter Chevrolet, was fastest in “happy hour” at 15.516 seconds (123.666 mph). Koch comes into this weekend hoping to improve on his finish of 21st last fall at Bristol, his best career finish at “The Last Great Coliseum”.

Busch was second at 15.554 seconds (123.364 mph). Although Busch wasn’t the fastest, it should be noted that he had the best ten lap average of the 26 cars that ran ten consecutive laps.

Dillon continued his great day be finishing third while Jeb Burton and JGR driver Erik Jones rounded out the top 5 in fourth and fifth respectively.

During this session, Ray Black, Jr. spun out off of turn 2, but did not hit anything.

Full results can be found here.