Ryan Newman and Erik Jones found themselves on the top of the leaderboard when each 50-minute Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session for the inaugural South Point 400 concluded from Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
Newman turned the quickest circuit in the first session thanks to his 183.892 mph lap (29.365 seconds) followed by Ryan Blaney (29.465), Aric Almirola (29.477), William Byron (29.491) and Daniel Suarez (29.537). Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith, Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10 quickest speeds.
Clint Bowyer had the quickest 10-consecutive lap average (181.010 mph), followed by Jones, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson. Five more playoff drivers (Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott) completed the top 10.
Jones had the quickest lap in the second session of the day. He wheeled his No. 20 Toyota around the 1.5-mile track at 181.251 mph (29.793 seconds). Following the pole sitter for Sunday’s 400-mile event was Blaney (29.795), Bowman (29.801), Keselowski (29.818) and Newman (29.871). Kyle Busch, Suarez, Larson, Elliott and Jamie McMurray completed the top 10.
Jones also had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average (178.025 mph). Bowman, Truex Jr., Blaney and Almirola followed suit to complete the top five, with Elliott, Keselowski, Harvick, Kyle Busch and Suarez rounding out the top 10.
After practice concluded, Newman took to Twitter and announced he would not return to Richard Childress Racing next season. His plans for 2019 are currently unannounced, but he doesn’t intend to retire anytime soon.
— Ryan Newman (@RyanJNewman) September 15, 2018
The green flag for the South Point 400 is scheduled to fly just past 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN. Harvick won earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but had his playoff points rescinded due to a penalty.