Home / Cup Series / Denny Hamlin Tops Morning Cup Practice at New Hampshire
Denny Hamlin, when not staring at his dash clock (Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Denny Hamlin Tops Morning Cup Practice at New Hampshire

Defending New Hampshire winner Denny Hamlin enters Sunday’s Foxwood Casino 301 as one of the pre-race favorites. In Saturday’s opening practice session, the No. 11 team proved why.

Hamlin ran a hot lap of 132.942 mph, close to a tenth-of-a-second ahead of Ryan Blaney (132.526 mph), who was second on the scoring chart. In addition to winning last years race, Hamlin is a three-time winner at the Magic Mile.

After qualifying second on Friday, Martin Truex Jr. backed that performance up with the third quickest lap in the practice (132.462 mph). His other “Big Three” compadres rounded out the top five with Kyle Busch (132.406 mph) and Kevin Harvick (132.356 mph).

Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Paul Menard rounded out the top 10.

Kahne, who comes into the race with just one top-10 finish this season, may have been the surprise of the session.

“We made a bunch of gains from yesterday, but we still have a ways to go,” Kahne said of the balance of his car.

Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski were just outside the top 10 in the morning practice, while Kyle Larson and Aric Almirola were mired down in 19th and 20th, respectively. Matt Kenseth, who has placed inside the top five in the last five events at NHMS was 23rd on the chart.

Out of the 22 drivers who made a run of at least 10 laps, Blaney had the best average at 131.767 mph. Meanwhile, Harvick turned 29 laps, the most in the session.

Final practice for Sunday’s race is set to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET.


Support Frontstretch on Patreon

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.

Check Also

Up to Speed: Strong Finish Slips Away from William Byron

William Byron’s 19th-place result at Sonoma Raceway does not tell the full story of his …