By Staff Report | NASCAR.com
Australian racer James Davison led final NASCAR XFINITY Series practice Saturday afternoon at Road America.
Davison clocked a best lap of 181.691 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota as he preps for just his third career start in the series. The Aussie, who has raced in the Indianapolis 500 three times, will turn 31 the day after Sunday’s Johnsonville 180 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM).
Justin Marks, who led the opening 55-minute practice, was fast again in the late session, uncorking a 108.614-mph lap to place second on the leaderboard. Marks will make just his second start of the season Sunday in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet.
Rookie Austin Cindric, 18, was third-fastest in both sessions as he tunes up for his XFINITY debut in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Cole Custer (108.235 mph) and Brennan Poole (107.887), both of whom had slight off-course ventures, completed the top five in final practice.
Custer and Poole weren’t alone in veering off course. Dexter Bean also left the pavement early on, and Nicolas Hammann’s slide into the Turn 3 sand with three minutes remaining brought a slightly early end to the session.
Spencer Gallagher, 14th-fastest in final practice, stalled on the track when his GMS Racing No. 23 Chevrolet ran out of fuel.
Elliott Sadler, the series’ points leader, was 15th-fastest in the JR Motorsports No. 1 Chevrolet.
Marks Sets Early Pace in First Practice
Justin Marks rose to the top of the leaderboard in Saturday’s opening practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America, completing a 1-2 sweep for Chip Ganassi Racing drivers.
Marks registered a fast lap of 107.923 mph on the sprawling 4.048-mile road course in the Ganassi No. 42 Chevrolet. Marks will be prepping for his fourth Road America start in Sunday’s Johnsonville 180 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM).
Brennan Poole was second-fastest in the 55-minute session, steering the Ganassi No. 48 Chevy to a 107.846-mph lap. Austin Cindric was third, readying for his XFINITY Series debut in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford.
Justin Allgaier and former Road America winner Brendan Gaughan completed the top five on the speed chart.
Series points leader Elliott Sadler was 18th-fastest (106.070 mph) in the JR Motorsports No. 1 Chevrolet.
A handful of drivers had relatively harmless off-course excursions in the tricky Turn 5 section. Among those were Matt Tifft, Ben Kennedy and Spencer Gallagher. Ryan Reed also went off the track in the Turn 11 kink late in the session but managed to keep his car off the wall.
The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota of Christopher Bell completed just one lap in practice before he drove to the garage. His crew spent the remainder of the session making an engine change.
Four teams were docked 15 minutes of practice time for infractions incurred last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Richard Childress Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Kennedy each had 15-minute deductions because their cars failed the Laser Inspection Station twice at Bristol. The No. 16 Ford of Ryan Reed and the No. 74 Dodge of John Graham were held because their cars were late for Bristol inspection.