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Can Kyle Larson finally break through on a short track? (Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Kyle Larson Tops Final Cup Practice at Richmond

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.

Daniel Hemric was sixth in preparation for his first MENCS start on Saturday while Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10.

Defending race winner Joey Logano was 21st on the board, one of several top drivers who struggled. Kurt Busch was good for 29th on speed while Ryan Blaney was just behind in 30th.

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.


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About Dustin Albino

Dustin Albino
Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2018 marks his fourth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be in the sport in some fashion. It's safe to say Dustin is living the dream.

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