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Early on Friday morning, the 33 trucks entered in tonight’s Lucas Oil 150 took to the Phoenix International Raceway tri-oval for its first practice session. The results were not all that different from the rest of the season.
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ William Byron turned in the fastest lap of the session on his final lap on-track. The lap of 26.479 seconds (135.957 mph) is roughly three-tenths of a second off of the track record set last year by Erik Jones.
ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes was a little more than three-hundredths of a second slower than Byron in second. Noah Gragson, who is attempting his Camping World Truck Series debut today in KBM’s No. 18, was third fastest. Matt Crafton and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 5.
Among the remaining Chasers outside of the top 5, Johnny Sauter was sixth fastest in his No. 21 Chevrolet. Defending race winner Timothy Peters was ninth quickest, while Christopher Bell struggled at times before setting the 10th fastest time late in the session. Ben Kennedy, who has struggled over the past couple of weeks, was the slowest of the Chasers in 15th.
Gragson was the fastest of the drivers attempting their Truck Series debuts this weekend in third. Myatt Snider was 21st fastest in the No. 22 Toyota for Self Motorsports with backing from The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce; regular driver Austin Wayne Self is driving the No. 66 Toyota in a second entry for the team.
K&N Pro Series East regular Dominique Van Wieringen is also attempting her debut in the No. 02 through a joint venture between Young’s Motorsports and Rette Jones Racing (Van Wieringen’s K&N Pro Series East team). Van Wieringen ended up 24th fastest in the session.
29 of the trucks entered set times during the session. Premium Motorsports’ Bryce Napier briefly went out on track, but failed to post a lap. Tommy Joe Martins also briefly got on-track, but aborted his run after running into brake issues.
We had a brake issue in first practice. Didn't make any laps. Better safe than sorry with no backup. We'll get out early in P2.
— Tommy Joe Martins (@TommyJoeMartins) November 11, 2016
Final practice for the Camping World Truck Series is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST this afternoon.