NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Keselowski, Johnson Lead Saturday Texas Practice

A pair of former Cup Series champions, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson, rose to the top of the charts Saturday during practice at Texas Motor Speedway.

Keselowski’s Ford No. 2 team continues to be on top of its game. Sunday’s Martinsville winner led a group of Chevrolets in an uneventful 55-minute morning practice at Texas Motor Speedway.  The Team Penske driver made it around the newly-repaved track in 27.531 seconds, running an average speed of 196.143 mph.

It was the second practice of the weekend for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, preparing for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Keselowski was followed by Kyle Larson (196.093 mph), Ty Dillon (196.043 mph), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (195.943 mph), and Chase Elliott (195.847 mph).

Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Almirola, and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10 in second practice. Ryan Blaney, who led first practice, placed 16th, while pole winner Kevin Harvick fell to 19th. There were no major on-track incidents to report, a far cry from Friday when four major contenders found their way into the outside wall.

During the Cup Series’ third and final practice, heading into Saturday afternoon it was Johnson who topped the board. The six-time Texas winner, starting Sunday at the rear of the field pushed to the front with a lap time of 27.719 seconds (194.812 mph).

Elliott (194.252 mph), Larson (193.618 mph), Almirola (193.555 mph), and Kenseth (193.465 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest speeds.

Daniel Suarez, Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Keselowski, and Bayne completed the top 10. Friday’s practice winner Blaney ran a lap good enough for 21st while pole winner Harvick placed 12th.

After posting his fastest lap of the session, Bayne crashed, getting loose and backing his car into the wall. Bayne will be driving a backup car and will join Johnson at the rear for Sunday’s start.

Kasey Kahne also had issues in final practice, getting into the wall with less than five minutes left in the session. While the No. 5 Chevy suffered moderate damage, Kahne’s team should be able to repair his car. He starts 35th, one of nine cars who failed to run through technical inspection in time for a qualifying lap.

Coverage for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at TMS begins at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX. The green flag is scheduled to drop at about 1:46.

Texas Motor Speedway Cup Practice Results

Second Practice

Final Practice

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