Those speeds left Larson, currently 15th in Chase points coming out swinging at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Prepping for Round 1’s second race, his No. 42 Chevy was fastest in the first session on Friday and tied for the top spot in the first practice Saturday morning.
Larson’s second lap was his fastest one of the 50-minute session, a good sign for his Chip Ganassi Racing program as they look to keep the third-year driver advancing through the playoffs. He’ll line up sixth for tomorrow’s 300-lap race.
“Our short run speed is really, really good,” Larson told Frontstretch. “I fall off a little bit too much compared to other people, but I’m sure there are some different things to help that out. We’ve made some improvements. In the first practice, I was extremely loose on entry and this one I felt better. The drive off was good. I just get a little bit too tight past the middle of the corner.”
Martin Truex, Jr., defending race winner Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman completed the top 10. Chase drivers Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart made up positions 11 through 15. 13 of the top-15 times were clocked in by drivers that are championship eligible.
As for the three who are missing? Jamie McMurray (18th), Austin Dillon (22nd) and Chris Buescher (28th) all struggled during this session. Dillon is running a backup car for the first time in his career after wrecking in Friday practice.
34 drivers made at least one run of 10 consecutive laps, led by Edwards (131.663 mph). Chase drivers were also leading the way, making up the seven fastest times in that category.
The green flag is scheduled to wave on New Hampshire’s Chase race shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.
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