Friday, July 15, 2016

Joe Gibbs Racing super-fast during first New Hampshire practice

Alex Bowman turned lots of laps in the No. 88 to get ready for Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. was fastest in Friday’s Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway leading a strong showing by Joe Gibbs Racing who have failed to win any of the past six races after winning eight of the first 13..

Truex's fast lap at 133.562 mph came on the 17th of his 18 laps run while in qualifying trim. Carl Edwards was second fastest (133.380 mph), followed by Kyle Busch (133.100), Kurt Busch (133.091) and Denny Hamlin (132.956) to round out the top-five. Truex has never won at New Hampshire while Kyle and Hamlin have two wins and Kurt has three wins.

Edwards has never won at New Hampshire's flat 1-mile layout, but he should be in good shape Sunday considering he lost by 0.01 of a second at Phoenix and won at Richmond, two flat tracks that run similar. Among the three drivers that attempted 10-consecutive laps, Edwards had the best average.

Toyota drivers made up four of the top five fastest positions, with Kurt Busch’s Chevrolet the only non-Toyota car in that group. Joe Gibbs Racing equipment (Truex Jr included) counted for five of the top-10 fastest speeds with last fall's New Hampshire winner Matt Kenseth having the 10th fastest lap (132.462).

Alex Bowman is subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. this week because Earnhardt experienced concussion-like symptoms. Bowman put ina session high 38 laps run to get familiar with the car and seat and had the 13th fastest lap (132.172).

Next up is qualifying at 4:45 pm ET, televised live on NBCSN. Chances are JGR will be on the pole.

New Hampshire Practice 1 Speeds

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