The NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers head to another short track this weekend, as they went from the .533-mile Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway last weekend to the .75-mile Richmond International Raceway this week. On Friday, they had two 55-minute practice sessions to prepare themselves for Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 (12:30 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN).
In the opening practice, rookie Cole Custer was standing on top of the leaderboard with a lap around the Virginia short track at 118.442 mph. Custer, is looking for his first win in the XFINITY Series, and having his No. 00 Ford up front early on is a good indication for a good weekend.
Brennan Poole was second overall with a speed of 117.796 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet, while Ty Dillon (117.596 mph) was third fastest in his No. 3 Chevrolet.
Two more Chevy’s rounded out the top five, as hometown hero Elliott Sadler was fourth fastest (117.412 mph) in his No. 1 Chevrolet while last weeks Dash 4 Cash winner Daniel Hemric (117.132 mph) rounded out the top five in fifth.
Youngster Kyle Benjamin was fast in his XFINITY Series debut as he was the fastest Toyota with a speed of 117.055 mph in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing entry. That lap was good enough for sixth overall.
Brandon Jones (117.050 mph) William Byron (116.964 mph) Ryan Blaney (116.924 mph) and Blake Koch (126.833 mph) rounded out the top five in that session.
In final practice, Benjamin led the way with a lap of 117.081 mph. It was an impressive debut for the rookie to be sixth and first respectively in the two sessions.
Kyle Larson was second fastest with a lap of 116.540 mph, while Poole (116.429 mph) Justin Allgaier (115.464 mph) and Dillon (115.444 mph) rounded out the top five.
The series will qualify tomorrow morning, then race in the 250 lapper Saturday afternoon.