Two more NASCAR Cup Series drivers are headed to backup cars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
William Byron hit the wall in Turns 1 and 2 early Saturday in the second Monster Energy Cup Series practice. The contact heavily damaged the right side and right rear of his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. The accident happened on Byron’s first run of the day.
“We have just been really loose and I tried to drive through it and see if it would come to me better and it didn’t,” said Byron. “It was even looser yet, and that was kind of the story — just got loose. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good, solid day and go from there.”
Byron is the second HMS driver to need a backup car. Friday, Alex Bowman lost the driveshaft in his Chevrolet during qualifying.
Moments after practice resumed following Byron’s accident, Kyle Larson hit the Turn 2 wall and damaged the right side of his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (pictured, top).
“I just locked up the brakes. Simple as that — locked them up,” rued Larson.
Larson made it five drivers who will be in a backup car for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN), joining Byron, Bowman and Friday wreckers Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman. Because they are in backup cars, all five drivers will drop to the rear of the field for the start of the race.
Erik Jones paced the 50-minute session at 133.427 mph (28.546 seconds). Polesitter Brad Keselowski was second quick at 133.394 mph with Aric Almirola third fastest at 133.366 mph.
Completing the top five were Kyle Busch at 133.240 mph and Ryan Blaney at 133.138 mph. Blaney ran 54 laps in practice which was the most of any driver.
Joey Logano (133.063 mph), Daniel Hemric (133.045 mph), Chase Elliott (133.007 mph), Jimmie Johnson (132.984 mph), and Denny Hamlin (132.910 mph) rounded out the top 10.
In the best 10 consecutive lap average, Jones topped Blaney, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Keselowski.
UP NEXT: Final practice at 12:35 p.m. ET.