The NASCAR XFINITY Series took to the high banked Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway on Thursday for their lone two practice sessions of the race weekend. On Friday, they’ll just qualify as well as race the Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN). If today’s practice rounds were any indication, it appears that Chevrolet, most notably JR Motorsports may be the ones to beat.
In session No. 1, Justin Allgaier topped the speed charts in his No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. The Illinois native turned a lap around the .533-mile short track with a speed of 125.363 mph. Allgaier, is one of just three total XFINITY Series regular to win at the track since 2010. He did so with Team Penske in the spring race of that year.
Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winning Kyle Busch was second quick with a lap of 125.134 mph in his No. 18 Toyota. Busch, is among three total drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing at Bristol this weekend trying to give them their second season sweep in the XFINITY Series at Bristol. Erik Jones won the spring race back in April.
Blake Koch was third fastest in his No. 11 Chevrolet with a speed of 124.630 mph, while Allgaier’s teammate and current XFINITY Series points leader Elliott Sadler (124.622 mph) was fourth. Sadler is the second of the three XFINITY Series regulars to win at Bristol over the last seven years, being victorious in 2012.
Last year’s night race winner Austin Dillon (124.541 mph) rounded out the top five in the session in his No. 2 Chevrolet.
Overall, there were five Chevy’s in the top six of the speed charts in the initial session. In fact, on the 10-lap average chart, Chevy drivers were 1-4 and had 10 of the top 12 speeds. Allgaier led the way in that category too, while Sadler was second. Brennan Poole and Koch were third and fourth respectively.
The top of the leaderboard in final practice wasn’t a surprise at all. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano were 1-2, with Busch setting a lap of 124.315 mph and Logano 123.865 mph.
Brennan Poole was sixth quickest overall in session No. 1 and third in the the 10-lap average, set the third quickest lap in final practice. Poole, circled Bristol with a speed of 123.586 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet.
Rookie William Byron (123.372 mph) and Allgaier (123.308 mph) rounded out the top five.
Yes, there was a Toyota and Ford at the top of the final practice speed charts, but Chevrolet once again shined. They had four cars in the top six, five in the top eight and 14 of the top 19.