Kyle Larson is off to a fast start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After pacing the opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice Friday – and qualifying fifth – Larson was quickest in Saturday’s early session. He ran a lap of 187.559 mph to top the leaderboard over Ryan Newman. Newman’s quick lap was 187.454 mph.
Completing the top five were Jimmie Johnson (186.587 mph), Kevin Harvick (185.637 mph), and Alex Bowman (185.408 mph).
“The car is really good,” Larson said. “We tested here about a month ago and were fast and got a good balance on our car. I think this practice we were just kind of chasing the track a little bit. I was loose the first few runs we did and worked on tightening it up and then we put a set of stickers on there a few laps there at the end, ran a fast lap, but I built tight really fast.
“So, I think if we would have just waited to practice and left the same setup on there to start we would have been fine. The track just went through a lot of changes, transitions I think.”
Polesitter Ryan Blaney was sixth fastest at 185.325 mph with Darrell Wallace Jr. (185.319 mph) seventh fastest. Clint Bowyer (185.306 mph) was eighth fastest. Michael McDowell (185.103 mph) was ninth while defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. (185.096 mph) rounded out the top 10.
There were no major incidents in the 55-minute session. However, Denny Hamlin brought out a brief caution when debris came off his No.11 Toyota following an issue with what seemed to be the brake hose or duct. Hamlin radioed his team he heard something pop and then the steering started acting up. He did later return to the track and finished the session 22nd fastest.
NEXT UP: Final practice at 2:30 p.m. ET.