The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series made their first laps on the newly repaved Texas Motor Speedway. The track was not only repaved but the banking and the size of the corners were changed.
Here is what you missed from practice…
– Many of the drivers were limited as to how much they could practice. The engine builders did not want them to put more than 700 miles on the engine. The race is 500 miles so they only have 200 miles to make laps in the 4 ½ hours of practice this weekend. Also the teams only received 12 sets of tires for practice and qualifying, so many teams were conserving tires.
– At the beginning of practice no one wanted to go out. The track was very slick and for the first five minutes it was a ghost town at Texas Motor Speedway.
– Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson were the first two drivers to get on the track. Hamlin made one lap and then spun out. Johnson said, “abort, abort, abort….I cannot hold onto this!!” He brought his No. 48 car into the garage as they checked the track for Hamlin’s spin.
– After seeing the first two cars spinning out, the rest of the drivers did not want to go out. Finally Kyle Larson went out and made multiple laps. Larson later said, “I’m a dirt track racer. I like it like this.”
– Aric Amirola had his hand all wrapped up. He said he tripped over his daughter’s toys and sprained his wrist. That could affect his ability to steer the car.
– Brad Keselowski said there is a big bump in the restart zone and it really is affecting the handling of the car. The teams are going to have to figure a way to keep the splitter off the track in that area.
– The Speed Chart was going crazy in practice. Every driver who went on the track went to the top of the speed chart. The track kept getting faster and faster.
– An hour into practice Landon Cassill spun but did not hit anything.
– Chris Buescher looked very good in practice. He is the only driver to put laps on the track before today. He did a promotion for the speedway and since he was from Texas the track chose him to drive the car.
– Kyle Busch spun out and barely got into the wall with 40 minutes left in practice. The No. 18 team will fix their car and miss qualifying. They will start from the back of the field Sunday.
– Erik Jones hit the wall really hard. He will go to a backup car.
– Chase Elliott spun and hit the wall. He will be in a backup car.
– Ryan Blaney had the fastest lap in practice.