Friday, March 13, 2015

Joey Logano fastest during Friday's first practice session at Phoenix

Joey Logano was strong last season at Phoenix with 4th and 6th-place
Kevin Harvick is the driver to beat in Sunday's 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, but in Friday's first practice session the Penske Racing duo of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski posted the fastest speeds.

Logano laid down the fastest lap at 138.771 mph in a mock-qualifying run, while Keselowski was second quickest at 138.750 mph. Neither have won at Phoenix before, but have let it be known to all that Harvick may have a major obstacle that prevents him from winning his fourth straight Phoenix Sprint Cup race.

Harvick would finish with the fourth fastest lap (138.132), just behind Kasey Kahne (138.424) and just ahead of 2012 Phoenix winner Denny Hamlin (138.132). All the top times were set while running in qualifying trim, but it should be noted that Harvick was fastest early in the 75-minute session while in race trim. Kahne also had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average among the seven drivers that ran as many.

Rounding out the top-10 quickest drivers in the session were Jamie McMurray (138.021), Ryan Newman (137.936), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (137.931), Matt Kenseth (137.889) and Jeff Gordon (137.862). Newman won at Phoenix in 2010 while Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon have each won twice.

The teams will return to the track later this evening at 7:50 p.m. (ET) for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race. Logano currently holds the Cup qualifying track record speed of 142.141 mph at Phoenix, which he set last year during the first round of qualifying. Hamlin sat on the pole with a qualifying lap speed of 142.113 mph.

The qualified drivers will have two more practice sessions on Saturday.

Practice 1 Speeds

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