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(Photo; Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Kyle Busch Leads the Way in Opening Practice at Homestead

Until late in the opening 90-minute practice session, Martin Truex Jr. had the fastest lap on the track. Making a qualifying run with less than 15 minutes remaining, Kyle Busch jumped up to the top spot.

The No. 18 car posted a lap of 172.695 mph, .030 seconds ahead of Truex (172.529 mph). As soon as Busch went to the top of the chart, the No. 78 team made one last attempt, but came up just short of edging out the 2015 series champion.

Kevin Harvick went to third on the scoring pylon while making a qualifying run late in the session (171.865 mph). Kyle Larson turned the fourth quickest lap at 171.217 mph, while Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five (170.854 mph).

Trevor Bayne, Jimmie Johnson, Michael McDowell, Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10.

Making his final start of his Cup Series career, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended opening practice in 14th, while Matt Kenseth ended the session in 12th. The No. 88 car burnt a piston in the enging and will have to start at the rear of the field on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski ended the hour-and-a-half session in 21st, the lowest of the Championship 4 drivers. The No. 2 team was experiencing brake issues throughout the practice.

Chase Elliott ran 34 laps, the most of the 39 car field. 19 teams elected to run less than 10 laps.

Results of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 Practice No. 1

Qualifying is set to get underway at 6:15 p.m. ET. Harvick is the defending pole winner.

About Dustin Albino

Dustin Albino

Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2017 marks his third full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he is currently enrolled at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York, he’s known since he was a little kid that he wanted to be around fast cars on the media side.

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