It didn’t take long for Kyle Larson to jump to the top of the scoring pylon in final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Richmond Raceway. Friday afternoon (April 20), he stayed on top for most of the 55-minute session, flexing his muscle after running second at Bristol Motor Speedway a week ago.
With 10 minutes left, Clint Bowyer edged the No. 42’s fast lap. But seconds later on a qualifying run, Larson re-took the top speed at 120.315 mph, winning final practice for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Larson ended the session .068 seconds ahead of Darrell Wallace Jr., who ended practice second quickest (119.952 mph).
For the second consecutive session, Jamie McMurray was inside the top five on single-lap speed. He clocked in third (119.904 mph). Bowyer was fourth (119.904 mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fifth (119.893 mph) to put two Fords inside the top five.
Chase Elliott was 25th on one-lap speed but turned a session-high 69 laps. Larson was the quickest on 10-lap averages at 119.110 mph.
Qualifying for the Toyota Owners 400 is scheduled to get underway shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET. There’s one thing we know for sure at this point: there will be a different pole winner from last season. Now-retired Matt Kenseth swept the poles for the spring and fall races, respectively.