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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Kyle Larson Fastest In Opening Cup Practice at Las Vegas

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series took to the track Friday (March 2) for opening practice in preparation for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson posted the quick time of the initial round on the 1.5-mile oval. His Chevrolet Camaro topped the charts at 190.658 mph, just ahead of the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford of last week’s winner, Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top five were Paul Menard in the Wood Brothers Ford, Joe Gibbs Toyota driver and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch and Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron.

Defending race winner and 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr. was 11th in the opening session.

The track was buffeted by strong winds as the teams worked to get their cars dialed in for the race. Gusts well over 50 mph were reported, and winds were steady over 20 mph, but practice concluded without significant incident.

With two more practices Saturday after qualifying, most teams were focused on trying to turn a fast lap.

CUP SERIES FIRST PRACTICE, PENNZOIL 400

Qualifying for the Pennzoil 400 takes place Friday at 7:15 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. A pair of practices on Saturday follow, with the green flag for the race Sunday (March 4) at 3:46 p.m. ET.

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Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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