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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Ryan Blaney Leads the Way in First Practice at Kansas

After running out of fuel during the final few laps of last weekend’s race at Talladega, Ryan Blaney could find himself eliminated after the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway if he doesn’t put on a strong performance. Blaney started off the weekend the right way by turning the fastest lap in the first practice session of the weekend.

Blaney turned a 192.130 mph lap around the mile-and-a-half oval to top the speed charts. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, the two drivers who have basically locked their spot in the Round of 8, finished second and third during the session.

Joey Logano and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five fastest laps during the session. Erik Jones, Paul Menard, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10.

Four drivers who aren’t sitting pretty heading into Sunday’s race were the four slowest playoff drivers of the session. Alex Bowman, who is in a must-win situation, finished the session in 12th while Martin Truex Jr. finished 15th, Brad Keselowski finished 16th, and Kyle Larson finished 22nd fastest.

Larson’s tough week got even worse on Friday. Just hours after learning the first appeal of the L1 penalty handed down after last weekend’s race at Talladega was denied by the National Motorsports Appeal Panel, the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet smacked the wall in Turns 1 and 2. The resulting damage forced the team to immediately pull out the backup car.

LUNKENHEIMER: Kyle Larson Penalty Appeal Denied By National Motorsports Appeals Panel

All 40 cars turned at least one lap during the session with Reed Sorenson being the slowest of the 40 cars. Drivers will qualify for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at 6:10 p.m. CT ahead of a pair of practices Saturday.

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About Christian Koelle

Christian Koelle
Christian Koelle returns to Fronstretch in 2018 after joining the organization in late 2017. He is looking to write full-time this season with Frontstretch. Along with Motorsports Christian also covers Minor League Baseball, with a focus on the Southern League. His second passion is baseball. He and his family reside in Ooltewah, TN, a town just outside of Chattanooga.

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