Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer capitalize on late speed to lead Las Vegas practices

Staff Report
NASCAR.com

Kurt Busch’s No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet pulled through in the last minute of Friday’s final practice at Las Vegas Motor Speeding to clock the fastest lap at 177.276 mph.

Up until those final moments, Joey Logano was leading the pack, but he ultimately wound up with the second-best speed at 176.783 mph. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford won the spring race at this 1.5-mile track in March. Sunday’s South Point 400 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the series’ second visit to Las Vegas this season.

RELATED: Lap averages from final practice | Final practice results

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Last year’s winner of this race, Brad Keselowski, was right behind Logano at 176.321 mph. Chase Elliott (176.223 mph) and Ryan Blaney (176.114 mph) made up the rest of the top five, who are all a part of the 16-driver NASCAR Playoffs field.

Clint Bowyer, who topped the first practice’s leaderboard and is also playoff eligible, was 17th in the final session at 175.450 mph.

The Monster Energy Series will return to the track for Busch Pole Qualifying on Friday at 4:05 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

FIRST PRACTICE

Clint Bowyer and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford had a late surge in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ first practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday. With less than two minutes left in the 50-minute session, Bowyer took the No. 1 spot with a top lap of 178.059 mph. That was good enough to be 0.836 mph faster than the next best, William Byron.

The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was at the top of the leaderboard for the majority of the practice. Byron circled the 1.5-mile track at 177.223 mph, which was ultimately good for second fastest.

RELATED: Lap averages from first practice | First practice results

Both Bowyer and Byron are among the 16-driver NASCAR Playoffs field.

Jimmie Johnson churned out the third-best performance at 177.148 mph. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (176.748 mph) and Austin Dillon (176.684 mph) rounded out the top five, as the Monster Energy Series begins its postseason Sunday with the South Point 400 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). None of the final three in the top five is among the playoff field.

Last year’s winner of this race, Brad Keselowski, came in sixth at 176.678 mph.

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