Daniel Suarez tops incident-marred Pocono Cup practice

Daniel Suarez was fastest in an eventful practice session at Pocono Raceway that left two drivers going to backup cars.

Suarez’s average lap speed of 172.516 mph led the way in the 55-minute session on Saturday. William Byron was second (172.404 mph) and Aric Almirola ended up third (172.401 mph).

Martin Truex Jr. was fourth and Clint Bowyer completed the top-five, putting three Stewart-Haas Racing drivers in the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch (who has won the last two Pocono races) and Matt DiBenedetto.

About 14 minutes into the session, Kyle Larson got loose in Turn 2, hit the wall and heavily damaged his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Larson’s team immediately brought out his backup car, which means he will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field. It’s the second consecutive week Larson has wrecked in practice.

“I’m just disappointed in myself,” Larson said. “I got really loose and then over-corrected some and then spun to the inside and hit the wall. I just hate that I did that. We only have today for practice and don’t have much time between practices.

“We probably won’t have much laps in the backup car. I was happy last week with (the team’s) efforts to get that one ready and how good it was in the race as well. Hopefully, we can do it again. 

“I just got to stop being stupid.”

About 33 minutes into the session, Chase Elliott got loose in Turn 1 and also hit the wall, leaving his No. 9 Chevrolet heavy right-side damage. Elliott will also move to a backup car and have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

“I just made a mistake and crashed,” Elliott said. “I put myself in a pretty poor situation there in practice.”

Corey LaJoie also got into the Turn 2 wall during the session but his team was attempting to repair the damage.

141 Daniel Suarez Ford1752.169  172.516
224 William Byron Chevrolet1852.2030.0340.034172.404
310 Aric Almirola Ford1452.2040.0350.001172.401
419 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota2352.2080.0390.004172.387
514 Clint Bowyer Ford2352.2190.0500.011172.351
648 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet1352.3070.1380.088172.061
720 Erik Jones Toyota2452.4650.2960.158171.543
811 Denny Hamlin Toyota2152.6290.4600.164171.008
918 Kyle Busch Toyota1652.7260.5570.097170.694
1095 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota1552.7420.5730.016170.642
1112 Ryan Blaney Ford2052.7450.5760.003170.632
128 Daniel Hemric Chevrolet2252.7590.5900.014170.587
134 Kevin Harvick Ford2352.8180.6490.059170.396
149 Chase Elliott Chevrolet1952.8480.6790.030170.300
1521 Paul Menard Ford2052.9180.7490.070170.074
1622 Joey Logano Ford2052.9310.7620.013170.033
173 Austin Dillon Chevrolet2252.9740.8050.043169.895
1847 Ryan Preece Chevrolet2153.0470.8780.073169.661
191 Kurt Busch Chevrolet1253.0520.8830.005169.645
2088 Alex Bowman Chevrolet1753.0650.8960.013169.603
2142 Kyle Larson Chevrolet253.1861.0170.121169.217
2237 Chris Buescher Chevrolet1853.2931.1240.107168.878
2317 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford1453.3651.1960.072168.650
2438 David Ragan Ford1753.3971.2280.032168.549
256 Ryan Newman Ford1553.4301.2610.033168.445
2613 Ty Dillon Chevrolet1753.4811.3120.051168.284
2734 Michael McDowell Ford1753.4831.3140.002168.278
282 Brad Keselowski Ford1053.5121.3430.029168.187
2943 Darrell Wallace Jr. Chevrolet1653.5381.3690.026168.105
3036 Matt Tifft Ford1653.7351.5660.197167.489
3132 Corey Lajoie Ford654.4192.2500.684165.383
3200 Landon Cassill Chevrolet1554.8492.6800.430164.087
3353 Josh Bilicki Chevrolet1254.8932.7240.044163.955
3415 Ross Chastain Chevrolet1354.9922.8230.099163.660
3527 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet955.3653.1960.373162.558
3651 B.J. McLeod Ford1055.5043.3350.139162.150
3777 Quin Houff Chevrolet755.6903.5210.186161.609
3852 Austin Theriault Ford1756.8814.7121.191158.225

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