Hamlin leads first Darlington practice

Image courtesy of JGR

Hamlin leads first Darlington practice

NASCAR

Hamlin leads first Darlington practice

Defending Darlington winner Denny Hamlin was fastest in the first Friday practice session with a lap of 172.287mph.

Kyle Larson was second fastest at 172.034mph. Completing the top five were Brad Keselowski at 171.998mph, Alex Bowman at 171.980mph and Ryan Newman at 171.926mph.

One of Hamlin’s teammates from Joe Gibbs Racing, Erik Jones, was sixth fastest at 171.878mph. Jones also went for a harmless spin late in the session as it appeared he was trying to come to pit road, but avoided hitting anything.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jimmie Johnson at 171.746mph, Ryan Blaney at 171.704mph, Aric Almirola at 171.548mph and Paul Menard at 171.226mph.

Jamie McMurray halted practice less than eight minutes after it began when his car went up in smoke off Turn 4. McMurray stopped his No. 1 Chevrolet on the frontstretch and climbed out, but there was still a lengthy clean up that took place, and the session was extended by five minutes until 3 p.m. A blown engine was the culprit and will result in McMurray having to start Sunday night’s race from the rear of the field.

UP NEXT: Final practice at 4:05 p.m. ET.

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