Harvick, Ford top first Fontana Cup practice

Harvick, Ford top first Fontana Cup practice

Cup Series

Harvick, Ford top first Fontana Cup practice

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Three Fords led the opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice Friday at Auto Club Speedway.

And to the surprise of no one, Kevin Harvick was fastest.

Harvick topped the 50-minute session with a lap of 189.066mph. He was followed by Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer at 188.211mph and Aric Almirola at 187.936mph.

Completing the top five were Ryan Newman (187.798mph) and Kyle Larson (187.744mph). Larson was the first driver to get on track when the session began and ran his quickest laps in race trim. He is also the defending race winner.

The rest of the top 10 were Denny Hamlin (187.320mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.315mph), Erik Jones (187.139mph), Austin Dillon (187.032mph), and Alex Bowman (186.766mph).

With just under 32 minutes remaining in the session, Daniel Suarez got loose in Turn 2 while going over one of the seams. The No.19 Toyota made heavy contact with the right side and right rear, resulting in the need for the backup car. Regardless of where he qualifies, Suarez will start at the rear of the field Sunday afternoon.

“Everyone is pushing very hard to know the limit of the car, and I knew I was loose,” said Suarez. “As soon as my right rear tire hit the seam on the racetrack it just broke loose extremely hard and I couldn’t do anything. I wish I could have controlled it a little bit better, but I didn’t do a good job on that one.

“I have to apologize to my guys, let’s see how we can do with the backup but I’m sure we’re going to do just fine.”

NEXT UP: Qualifying at 7:15 p.m. ET.

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