Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Practice Report

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers had two practice sessions Saturday morning in preparation for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300 (2 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN). It was the final two times the drivers were able to hit the track before tomorrow’s penultimate race of the first round.

In the first session, Kyle Larson was once again quickest in his No. 42 Chevrolet with a lap around the New Hampshire Motor Speedway at 132.586 mph. Larson, was fastest in practice on Friday and qualified his Chip Ganassi Racing entry second for Sunday’s race. 

Ryan Blaney practicing his No. 21 Ford on Friday at New Hampshire

Ryan Blaney was second quickest in his No. 21 Ford with a speed of 132.517 mph. Last weeks winner Martin Truex Jr. was third overall with a lap of 132.503 mph in his No. 78 Toyota. Both of those drivers also qualified in the top five for Sunday’s race as well.

Three Joe Gibbs Racing cars would take the next three spots with Matt Kenseth (132.163 mph), Denny Hamlin (132.071 mph) and rookie Daniel Suarez (132.044 mph) being fourth through sixth respectively.

Two more Toyota’s would be right behind with Erik Jones (132.007 mph) and pole sitter Kyle Busch (131.961 mph) being seventh and eighth respectively. All six JGR/Furniture Row Racing cars were in the top eight of the session.

Playoff drivers Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick were right behind in 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.

In final practice, several drivers had penalty holds for failing inspection at some point. The most severe was Joey Logano who missed all 50 minutes.

In that session, Truex led the way with a speed of 131.647 mph. Harvick (131.633 mph), Busch (131.515 mph), Suarez (131.506 mph) and Larson (131.497 mph) rounded out the top five.

The session saw one incident with Ty Dillon getting into the SAFER barrier. He would have to go to a backup as a result and forego his 30th place starting spot on Sunday.

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