Friday, August 5, 2016

Martin Truex Jr. fastest during first Watkins Glen practice

Martin Truex Jr. is 12/1 to win Sunday at Watkins Glen.
Martin Truex Jr. laid down the fastest lap during Friday's early practice at Watkins Glen International in preparation for Sunday's Cheez-It 355, the second and final road course race of the season. The fast lap at 126.883 mph came on his 13th and final lap run during the 85-minute session. His best finish on the 11-turn, 2.45-mile course was third in 2013.

Denny Hamlin, who finished second at Sonoma's road course in June, had the second fastest lap at 126.343 mph and was followed by Casey Mears (125.896), Carl Edwards (125.654) and Kyle Busch (125.643). That's four of the top-five speeds in Toyotas powered by Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards paced the way with the most laps (32) run during the session.

Rounding out the top-10 quickest drivers in the session were last years winner Joey Logano (125.469), Brad Keselowski (125.266), 2014 winner AJ Allmendinger (125.098), Kurt Busch (125.041) and Kyle Larson (124.927).

Last season Logano swept the Xfinity and Sprint Cup races at Watkins Glen. Keselowski, who has three runner-up finishes tied for the track record with Mark Martin, also had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average among three drivers that had that many laps in a row.

Tony Stewart, who won at Sonoma, owns the track record with five wins and had the 11th fastest lap (124.890). Four-time Watkins Glen winner Jeff Gordon was 18th fastest as the substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88. Gordon is one of the best-ever on the track, but hasn't had a top-five there since 2001.

The final 85-minute practice will be at 3:00 pm ET and qualifying will take place Saturday at 12:15 pm.

Watkins Glen Practice Speeds

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