NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Tops Opening Cup Series Practice at New Hampshire

Dating back to last fall, Kyle Larson has been the fastest person in New England, sweeping all three practice sessions for the playoff race last September. Friday morning, the No. 42 car turned a lap of 133.971 mph, jumping to the top of the leader board, turning the fastest lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Larson was nearly two-tenths of a second faster than Martin Truex Jr., who was second on the scoring pylon (133.217 mph). Much like most of the regular season, the Nos. 42 and 78 have been battling to be the fastest car from the drop of the green flag of opening practice.

After having the quickest time early on, Kyle Busch ended the session in third (133.142 mph), while Ryan Blaney (132.840 mph)and Jamie McMurray (132.697 mph) rounded out the top five.

Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones and Kurt Busch filled the top 10.

Kevin Harvick was 14th on the board, after scoring a victory the last time the series visited New Hampshire. In his return to NASCAR, Aric Almirola ended up 22nd in his first practice back.

Rookie Ty Dillon ran 38 laps, the most of all drivers. In three career XFINITY Series starts at the track, Dillon has a best finish of sixth, coming in 2015.

The lone incident of the practice came with just over 20 minutes remaining when Denny Hamlin spun into the inside wall off Turn 4. The No. 11 team has elected to go to a backup car, after posting the 24th fastest time.

Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. ET. Jimmie Johnson is the defending pole winner, and he finished the opening session in 13th.

Full results from opening practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 

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