Erik Jones tops second Cup practice; Byron and Larson wreck

Erik Jones led the way in Saturday’s first NASCAR Cup practice which saw another two drivers wreck and head to backup cars.

Late in the session, Jones posted his session-best average lap speed of 133.427 mph, topping the pole-winner for Sunday’s Foxwoods Casino 301, Brad Keselowski (133.394 mph). 

Jones, who will start fourth Sunday, has made three starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with a best finish of sixth in 2017.

Aric Almirola ended up third (133.366 mph), Kyle Busch was fourth and Ryan Blaney completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Joey Logano, Daniel Hemric, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.

Jones also had the fastest average lap speed among all drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps (132.854 mph). Blaney and Kyle Busch were second and third, respectively, in that category.

Within the first 10 minutes of practice, William Byron slammed into the Turn 1 wall, doing extensive damage to his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Byron’s team immediately began working on his backup car, which means he will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field. He had qualified 22nd on Friday.

“We have just been really loose and I tried to drive through it and see if it would come to me better and it didn’t. It was even looser yet, and that was kind of the story, just got loose,” Byron said. “Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good, solid day and go from there.”

Shortly after practice restarted, Kyle Larson tagged the wall in Turns 1 and 2 and he, too, will move to a backup car. Larson will become the fifth driver that will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

“As soon as I touched the brakes, it got loose,” Larson said over his team radio.

Also starting from the back will be Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Alex Bowman (all for backup cars).

120 Erik Jones Toyota4028.546  133.427
22 Brad Keselowski Ford3728.5530.0070.007133.394
310 Aric Almirola Ford3828.5590.0130.006133.366
418 Kyle Busch Toyota3728.5860.0400.027133.240
512 Ryan Blaney Ford5428.6080.0620.022133.138
622 Joey Logano Ford3728.6240.0780.016133.063
78 Daniel Hemric Chevrolet3928.6280.0820.004133.045
89 Chase Elliott Chevrolet4028.6360.0900.008133.007
948 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet4428.6410.0950.005132.984
1011 Denny Hamlin Toyota3928.6570.1110.016132.910
114 Kevin Harvick Ford4028.6630.1170.006132.882
1219 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota3128.6710.1250.008132.845
1314 Clint Bowyer Ford3528.6790.1330.008132.808
1417 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford2528.6820.1360.003132.794
153 Austin Dillon Chevrolet3828.6920.1460.010132.748
1695 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota5028.7190.1730.027132.623
1737 Chris Buescher Chevrolet3928.7370.1910.018132.540
1821 Paul Menard Ford3728.7840.2380.047132.324
196 Ryan Newman Ford3328.7870.2410.003132.310
2041 Daniel Suarez Ford4528.8280.2820.041132.122
211 Kurt Busch Chevrolet3428.8360.2900.008132.085
2288 Alex Bowman Chevrolet3328.9030.3570.067131.779
2332 Corey Lajoie Ford2028.9090.3630.006131.751
2447 Ryan Preece Chevrolet4928.9120.3660.003131.738
2536 Matt Tifft Ford3328.9760.4300.064131.447
2643 Darrell Wallace Jr. Chevrolet4828.9850.4390.009131.406
2713 Ty Dillon Chevrolet3129.0030.4570.018131.324
2834 Michael McDowell Ford2529.0420.4960.039131.148
2924 William Byron Chevrolet729.0730.5270.031131.008
3038 David Ragan Ford3229.2510.7050.178130.211
3115 Ross Chastain Chevrolet2329.3170.7710.066129.918
3200 Landon Cassill Chevrolet3029.3500.8040.033129.772
3327 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet1629.6481.1020.298128.467
3477 Quin Houff Chevrolet2329.7541.2080.106128.010
3552 Austin Theriault Chevrolet2630.0881.5420.334126.589
3651 Andy Seuss Ford3830.1291.5830.041126.416
3742 Kyle Larson Chevrolet455.26026.71425.13168.925

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