Truex tops opening Cup practice at Sonoma

Image by Jarrett/LAT

Truex tops opening Cup practice at Sonoma


Truex tops opening Cup practice at Sonoma


Martin Truex Jr. jumped to the top of the leaderboard at Sonoma Raceway after 1 hour and 20 minutes of practice on Friday.

Truex, the defending race winner, topped the board at 95.326 mph (95.168 seconds). Ryan Blaney was second-fastest at 95.195 mph. Completing the top five were Chris Buescher (95.041 mph), Jimmie Johnson (95.035 mph), and Michael McDowell (94.773 mph).

The first of two practices scheduled for the weekend, the opening session was an opportunity for every driver to get their first look at the longer course layout. Sonoma is back to using the Carousel for the first time since 1997.

None of the 38 drivers who will take the green flag Sunday afternoon in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 have ever run a Cup Series race using this track configuration. The course is now 2.52-miles in length and 12 turns.

The rest of the top 10 in practice were Alex Bowman (94.761 mph), Clint Bowyer (94.619 mph), Kyle Busch (94.333 mph), Daniel Suarez (94.105 mph), and David Ragan (93.928 mph).

Truex was the only driver who had to serve a practice hold in the opening session. The No. 19 Toyota missed the final 15 minutes after the car failed inspection twice two weeks ago during the Michigan race weekend.

Kyle Weatherman is behind the wheel of the No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet for both practice sessions today as well as qualifying tomorrow. Weatherman will then turn the car over to its regular driver, Ross Chastain, for Sunday’s race.

Bowman ran 25 laps, which was the most of any driver.

Kyle Larson was the quickest of five drivers who ran 10 consecutive laps. The others were Chase Elliott, Corey LaJoie, William Byron, and Kurt Busch.

UP NEXT: Final practice at 5:35 p.m. ET.