Dale Jr., Larson Lead Friday Practices at Sonoma

By Staff report | NASCAR.com | June 24, 2016, at 8 p.m.

Practice 2 | Results

Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the final Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday at Sonoma Raceway with a high-speed of 95.298 mph.

The driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was fourth-fastest in the opening session at the Northern California road course.

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Casey Mears (No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet) was second-fastest to Earnhardt Jr. with a speed of 95.255 mph.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin (95.243 mph) and Carl Edwards (95.157 mph) were third and fourth-fastest, respectively.

Defending race winner Kyle Busch was fifth-fastest (95.144 mph), completing the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. The No. 18 driver brought out a quick red flag during the final session when the left side of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota struck a rabbit.

Current Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick was 18th-fastest (94.518 mph) in the Sprint Cup Series’ final practice session of the weekend.

Kyle Larson, who was fastest in the opening session, was 11th-fastest (94.963 mph) in the closing session.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to the road course at 2:15 p.m. ET on Saturday for the Coors Light Pole Qualifying (FS1).

Practice 1 | Results

Kyle Larson soared to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard Friday at Sonoma Raceway.

Larson powered the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet to a best lap of 95.141 mph on the 1.99-mile California road course. His speed was shy of the track qualifying record of 96.568 mph that he set in Coors Light Pole Qualifying last year.

Jamie McMurray, Larson’s teammate in the No. 1 Chevy, was second-fastest at 94.544 mph in the opening 1-hour, 55-minute session. McMurray suffered slight damage to the right-rear fender after a Turn 11 run-in with Tony Stewart late in the session.

Former Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr. turned the third-best lap (94.498 mph) in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (94.430 mph) and Carl Edwards (94.319 mph) completed the top five in opening preparation for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Defending race winner Kyle Busch clocked the 14th-fastest lap in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. The reigning Sprint Cup champion scored an emotional victory in this race last year, winning for the first time since suffering severe leg injuries in the 2015 XFINITY Series opener.

Jimmie Johnson was best in the category of 10-consecutive-lap average, leading Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin under that heading.

The session was interrupted by a lengthy red flag shortly after the practice began when Regan Smith’s Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7 Chevrolet leaked an overflow of oil. With the problem remedied, Smith recorded the 34th-fastest lap of the 41 drivers entered.

 

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