Christopher Bell and John Hunter Nemechek led Friday’s practice sessions from the ISM Raceway. The semi-final race of the season will set up the final four drivers for next weekends race at Homestead. Bell is in a must-win situation while Nemechek is just racing for a victory.
Bell was fastest overall in the first practice session of the afternoon for the XFINITY Series at ISM Raceway with a lap at 132.304 mph. Teammate Ryan Preece finished the session in second with a lap that was four-hundredths of a second off of leader Bell.
Austin Cindric and Tyler Reddick were the only two playoff drivers to time in outside of the top 10 during the first practice session while the remaining playoff drivers all finished inside the top-ten with Bell, first, being the best of the Round of Eight drivers.
36 drivers turned a lap during the session with Vinnie Miller turning the slowest lap of the session at 123.186 mph. His lap was 2.014-seconds off of Bell.
Nemechek’s name was brought up multiple times during Friday’s (Nov. 9th) press conference involving Ross Chastain and Chip Ganassi Racing. While Nemechek does not have a confirmed deal for 2019, he did help himself a little during the final practice by putting his name on top of the speed charts with a lap at 133.072 mphb around ISM Raceway. Bell, who led the first session, finished second in the second, 0.137-seconds off of Nemechek. Cindric was third quickest, followed by Preece and Tifft
All eight playoff drivers finished inside the top 10 with Daniel Hemric (seventh), Justin Allgaier (eighth), Elliott Sadler (ninth), and Tyler Reddick (tenth) the worst of the Round of 8 drivers. Bell, much like in first practice, led the playoff drivers in second.
35 drivers turning at least one lap during the session. Mike Harmon was the slowest of the session with a lap at 121.626 mph. His time was 2.546-seconds off of leader Nemechek.
XFINITY Series teams will return to the track Saturday, Nov. 10 for qualifying, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC’s Countdown to Green kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and the Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET also on NBC.