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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Justin Marks Quickest in Opening Johnsonville 180 Practice

On Saturday afternoon, XFINITY Series teams took to the 4.048-mile road course for their first practice session of the weekend at Road America.  The weather forecast for Sunday is dicey, but teams were greeted with dry weather for the first session.  Wet or dry, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Justin Marks may be the man to beat this weekend.

Marks was fastest overall in the practice session with a lap of 135.029 seconds (107.923 mph).  The lap is more than two seconds off of Alex Tagliani‘s track record.

Marks’ lap was one-tenth of a second faster than teammate Brennan Poole in second.  Team Penske’s Austin Cindric, who is doing double-duty while making his XFINITY Series debut this weekend was third fastest.

JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier was fourth fastest, while 2014 winner Brendan Gaughan was fifth fastest.  The top five drivers were separated by a little more than eight-tenths of  a second.

Kaulig Racing’s Blake Koch was sixth fastest, followed by Matt Tifft and Cole Custer.  Dylan Lupton was ninth quickest, while Jeremy Clements rounded out the top 10.

Other notables included Daniel Hemric in 12th, while points leader Elliott Sadler was 18th quickest, 2.359 seconds off of Marks.  William Byron was a distant 25th.

Christopher Bell was 30th quickest, having turned only one lap at speed.  There’s a reason for that.  Bell broke the transmission on his No. 18 Toyota.  The Joe Gibbs Racing team spent most of the session replacing the transmission and will go back out in Happy Hour.

With a 4.048-mile road course, laps are at a premium.  Only seven of the 42 entries turned 10 or more laps.  Poole turned in the most with 12.

Four drivers chose not to go out on track.  Those drivers were Josh Bilicki, Timmy Hill, David Starr and Gregory Vandersluis did not turn in laps.

Results of NASCAR XFINITY Series Johnsonville 180 Practice No. 1

XFINITY Series teams have one more practice session on Saturday, scheduled for 4 p.m.  It will be 55-minutes in length and air live on NBCSN.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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