Truex/Keselowski Lead Cup Practices, Johnson, Allmendinger to Backup Cars

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers had two more opportunities on the Michigan International Speedway to get their cars right before Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 (3:30 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN). These were the final two practice sessions of the race weekend on the 2-mile Irish Hills oval.

In the first session, Martin Truex Jr. topped the speed charts with a speed of 198.385 mph in his No. 78 Toyota. Truex, qualified for Sunday’s race on the front row, as he qualified second on Friday, missing the pole by just 0.007-seconds. 

Another Toyota in Kyle Busch was second fastest in his No. 18 Toyota, with a speed of 197.938 mph. Jimmie Johnson was third with a lap of 197.341 mph, while last weekend’s winner Ryan Blaney was fourth (197.320 mph).

Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five with a speed of 197.284 mph in his No. 4 Ford. Pole sitter Kyle Larson was seventh in session No. 1.

In final practice, Brad Keselowski topped the charts with a lap of 197.401 mph in his No. 2 Ford. Keselowski, is looking to get his third victory of the season, but do so at his home track in the process. He’s never won at Michigan before.

Busch, was second again, this time with a speed of 197.195 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing entry. Larson (197.061 mph) was third quickest, while Keselowski’s teammate of Joey Logano (196.969 mph) was fourth overall.

Fellow Michigan native and rookie Erik Jones was fifth with a speed of 196.953 mph in final practice.

There were two incidents in practice today, one in each session.

In final practice, AJ Allmendinger found the wall in the final minute and suffered damage to his No. 47 Chevrolet. He would have to go to a backup car and start 37th in the 37 car field. He had an electrical issue in qualifying yesterday and qualified 25th.

In the opening session, Jimmie Johnson took a spin through the infield grass just past the halfway mark of the practice. He got loose exiting Turn 4 and spun, causing damage to his No. 48 Chevrolet. They too would go to a backup, and will start 36th on Sunday.

But, three of the last four times Johnson has had to start in the back, he’s won the race itself.

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