Bowyer tops opening practice in Las Vegas

Image by Harrelson/LAT

Bowyer tops opening practice in Las Vegas

NASCAR

Bowyer tops opening practice in Las Vegas

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Clint Bowyer used his final practice run wisely by jumping to the top of the leaderboard at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Bowyer was fastest in opening NASCAR Cup Series practice and led the way of five playoff drivers in the top 10. He ran a quick lap of 178.059 mph (30.327s). With his lap, Bowyer knocked William Byron from the top spot as Bryon has set the pace for much of the session.

Byron, also a playoff driver, ran 177.223 mph. Jimmie Johnson was third quick at 177.148 mph with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fourth quickest at 176.748 mph, and Austin Dillon completing the top five at 176.684 mph.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 was Brad Keselowski (P) at sixth fastest with a 176.678 mph lap, Denny Hamlin (P) at 176.471 mph, Ty Dillon at 176.396 mph, Daniel Suarez at 176.327 mph, and Chase Elliott (P) at 176.246 mph.

The remaining playoff drivers inside the top 15 were Martin Truex Jr. 12th fastest (176.028 mph), Joey Logano 13th (176.016 mph), Kyle Busch 14th (175.965 mph), and Aric Almirola 15th (175.833 mph).

Ryan Blaney was 16th fastest (175.793 mph), Alex Bowman 17th (175.496 mph), Kevin Harvick 18th (175.234 mph), and Erik Jones 19th (175.228 mph). Further back was Ryan Newman in 21st (174.950 mph), Kyle Larson 22nd (174.836 mph), and Kurt Busch 23rd (174.588 mph).

The 50-minute practice was incident free.

Byron was quickest in the best 10 consecutive lap average over Austin Dillon, Bowman, Truex, and Kyle Busch.

UP NEXT: Final practice at 4:30 p.m. local time.

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