Stewart-Haas Racing trio Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer topped the leaderboard for the only practice session Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch ran a fast lap of 196.200mph with Harvick putting down a lap of 195.943mph and Bowyer clocking in at 195.426mph. SHR enters Texas having won the most recent Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with Bowyer.
As for Busch, speed at Texas is not unfamiliar for him. Last fall, Busch set a new record for qualifying on a 1.5-mile racetrack.
Kyle Busch was fourth fastest at 195.009mph with Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five at 194.883mph.
Denny Hamlin (194.868mph), Chase Elliott (194.721mph), Brad Keselowski (194.574mph), Aric Almirola (194.503mph), and Martin Truex Jr. (194.384mph) were the rest of the top 10. Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson finished the session 12th fastest at 194.126mph.
While there were no incidents during the 55-minute session, there were a few drivers with the common complaint of not being able to get the front end of their car to turn. Johnson and David Ragan even had nervous moments through the corners as the car stepped out from underneath them.
Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron will start the rear of the field Sunday afternoon. Byron only completed five laps during practice (he was 33rd on the board) and reported the engine was having difficulties when he would get the No. 24 Chevrolet to full speed. The exact issue has not been revealed, but after diagnosing the engine the team decided to swap it out.
NEXT UP: Qualifying at 5:45 p.m. ET.