Bowman tops opening NASCAR practice on Bristol's dirt

Tilton/Getty via NASCAR

Bowman tops opening NASCAR practice on Bristol's dirt

NASCAR

Bowman tops opening NASCAR practice on Bristol's dirt

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Alex Bowman was the fastest driver in the opening practice of NASCAR’s inaugural dirt weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Bowman led the way at 89.308 mph (21.155 seconds). He ran 42 laps, but his fastest lap was his first one on track.

“It’s a lot of fun, for sure,” Bowman said. “Pretty happy with our Ally Camaro; everybody at HMS worked really at guessing, I guess, on the dirt side of things and trying to use the little bit of knowledge that we do have. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a blast around here. It’s going pretty well so far, which I think is really good.

“I feel like on long runs, we’re lacking. It’s like I just burn the right-rear off and can’t stick the right rear kind of center off, can’t make any drive. But we’ll keep working on it. Obviously, happy to be P1 after practice, but we definitely have some work to do.”

Second-, third-, and fourth-fastest were drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing. Christopher Bell was second-fastest at 89.999 mph, with Kyle Busch third at 88.898 mph and Denny Hamlin fourth-fastest at 88.819 mph.

Hamlin earned the nod of being the first driver to get on the dirt track when practice opened.

Completing the top five was Kyle Larson at 88.609 mph. Sixth-fastest was Chase Elliott at 88.522 mph, while Joey Logano was seventh-fastest at 88.089 mph.

Cole Custer was eighth-fastest at 87.707 mph. William Byron was ninth-fastest at 87.655 mph, and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top 10 at 87.600 mph.

There were no major incidents during the 50-minute session. Martin Truex Jr., who ended up 13th fastest, spun in Turn 2 but did not hit anything. JJ Yeley twice spun off Turn 4 but also escaped without problems.

Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman were the fastest in the best 10 consecutive lap average category.

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