Tyler Reddick was the fastest in NASCAR Cup Series practice Saturday at Kansas Speedway with a lap of 178.903mph (30.184s).
The No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet led the way over six other playoff contenders inside the top 10. Ross Chastain was second fastest at 178.418mph and Christopher Bell was third at 178.412mph. Bubba Wallace ran fourth at 178.294mph and Kyle Larson completed the top five at 178.288mph.
Larson is the defending race winner. Kurt Busch won at Kansas in the spring but is still sidelined with concussion-like symptoms after a crash in qualifying at Pocono Raceway in June.
Chris Buescher was sixth fastest at 178.171mph, Ryan Blaney seventh at 177.702mph, Justin Haley eighth at 177.532mph, Alex Bowman ninth at 177.305mph, and Harrison Burton rounded out the top 10 at 176.835mph.
Fifteen of the 16 playoff drivers were in the top 22 on the speed chart. The slowest playoff driver was Austin Cindric in 31st.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (25th fastest) had a right rear tire go down in the final moments. He was in the first group of drivers who had track time and was entering Turn 3 when the tire let go, causing him to slide up and smack the wall.
“We made a decently long run and then came in and made some adjustments to our SUNNYD Camaro,” Stenhouse said. “I was pretty happy with the way it was driving. We just tried to make it a little bit better, and felt like we made it better, and then of all of a sudden, going into Turn 3, we blew a right rear. It was kind of similar to the spring when we blew a left rear, but we had a really good run in the spring; started in the back. We should still be able to qualify and get a decent lap in, but I was really happy with how it was driving.”
Aric Almirola was the slowest driver in practice and said his Stewart-Haas Racing team is trying to diagnose the issue. Almirola will not post a qualifying lap as the team took his car to the garage to check for a possible engine or ECU problem.
There are 36 teams entered in the Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.