(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson Fastest in Las Vegas Cup Practices

Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson paced the two Friday (Feb. 21) practice sessions for the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Practice No. 1

Almirola led the first session with a speed of 178.654 mph in his No. 10 Stewart Haas Racing Ford. His teammate Clint Bowyer was second on the speed chart after clocking in his No. 14 Ford at 178.383 mph.

Ty Dillon‘s speed was good for third fastest on the board, while Joey Logano and Alex Bowman followed in fourth and fifth. Matt DiBenedetto was sixth, then Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott. Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney were ninth and 10th.

Monday’s (Feb. 17) Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was slotted in all the way back in 25th in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

MBM Motorsport’s Timmy Hill was the only driver entered who did not turn a lap in the first practice session.


Practice No. 2

In the second practice, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet led the way at 179.432 mph, while Bowyer was second again with a speed of 179.271 mph.

Almirola followed in third, while fellow Ford drivers Kevin Harvick and DiBenedetto rounded out the top five.

Ross Chastain, who is filling in for Ryan Newman in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, had the sixth-best time. Larson was seventh, then Blaney, John Hunter Nemechek and Bowman.

All 38 drivers practiced in the second session. Ryan Blaney turned the most laps with 65 circuits completed. Harvick had the fastest 10-lap average at 177.636 mph. According to FOX Sports, Chastain was fastest in the 15-lap average, while Bowman was fastest in the 20-lap average.



Qualifying is for the Pennzoil 400 is slated for Saturday (Feb. 22) at 2:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. The green flag for the race is scheduled to drop at 3:45 p.m. ET on Sunday (Feb. 23). FOX will provide live TV coverage on Sunday.

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It is safe to say that Zach Gillispie has been obsessed with race cars for nearly his entire life. After all, his childhood home was just a stone's throw away from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since joining Fronstretch in 2018 as a sedulous 18-year-old, Zach thoroughly enjoys sharing his passion for motorsports with the racing faithful through professional journalism with a youthful and vibrant flair. He somehow does it all while juggling duties as a full-time college student, an entrepreneurial businessman and the News Director of Western Pennsylvania's WSAJ 91.1 "The One." In the rare moments when he is not working or studying, you can find him at his church, traveling, or cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves.

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