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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Fastest in Opening Bojangles’ Southern 500 Practice

Kyle Larson was fastest in the first practice of “Fast Friday” at Darlington Raceway. Larson turned a lap of 28.415 seconds (173.064 mph) around the Darlington Raceway, just .069 seconds faster than second-place Denny Hamlin.

Ford had a strong first practice with its drivers bringing home the third through fifth quickest times. Brad Keselowski had the fastest time of the three Fords, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott were sixth and seventh, followed by Matt Kenseth.  Kurt Busch was ninth quickest, while Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10.

All 40 drivers entered turned a lap in the opening practice. Hamlin, who finished second in overall practice, had the best 10-lap consecutive average. Hamlin’s first 10 laps of the session were run at an average time of approximately 29.081 seconds (169.098 mph).  Larson had the second-best 10-lap average followed, by Kurt and Kyle Busch.

Defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. was 18th fastest, while the last driver to win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Kyle Busch, turned the 15th quickest lap.

Kurt Busch turned the most laps of any driver in the first session with 61. Carl Long turned in the least number of laps in the session with five.

Results of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 Practice No. 1

Final practice is currently underway on NBCSN. Qualifying is slated for tomorrow afternoon. It will go live on NBCSN beginning at 1:30 p.m.