Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch were fastest in opening NASCAR Cup Series practice at Texas Motor Speedway.
Neither driver is still in the playoffs but led the way in the clean 50-minute session. Bowyer topped the board at 188.679 mph (28.620 seconds). Busch’s best lap was 188.754 mph.
Third quickest was spring Texas winner Denny Hamlin (P). Hamlin clocked in at 188.324 mph.
Completing the top five was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Erik Jones. Stenhouse ran a lap of 187.565 mph while Jones ran 187.559 mph.
Sixth fastest was Aric Almirola at 187.493 mph. Seventh on the board was Alex Bowman at 187.448 mph. Filling out the top 10 was Martin Truex Jr. (P) at 187.311 mph, Jimmie Johnson at 187.298 mph, and Kevin Harvick (P) at 187.026 mph.
Playoff drivers outside the top 10 were Kyle Busch 12th quickest at 186.916 mph, Kyle Larson 13th at 186.767 mph, and Joey Logano 15th at 186.477 mph.
Further back was Ryan Blaney at 23rd running 185.663 mph and Chase Elliott 26th with a 185.293 mph lap.
Blaney and JJ Yeley also lost 15 minutes of practice. Both drivers and their teams were penalized for the cars being late out of the garage last weekend.
John Hunter Nemechek is making his Cup Series debut this weekend as he takes over the No. 36 Front Row Ford. Nemechek was 29th in practice at 184.508 mph.
UP NEXT: Final practice at 5:05 p.m. ET.