Kyle Larson was the fastest driver in the first on-track activity of NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro Speedway on Friday.
Larson, who ran 69 laps, topped Cup Series practice for the All-Star Race with a lap of 109.144 mph (20.615 seconds). Brad Keselowski was second fastest in practice (108.408 mph), Denny Hamlin third (108.204 mph), Chris Buescher was fourth fastest (108.064 mph), and Chase Briscoe fifth (107.965 mph).
Martin Truex Jr. was sixth fastest (107.960 mph), with William Byron (107.831 mph), Kevin Harvick (107.790 mph), Chandler Smith (107.712 mph), and Ryan Preece (107.666 mph) rounding out the top 10.
It was a 50-minute practice session, the only one scheduled for the weekend. And it was for all NASCAR Cup Series teams, combing those already locked into the All-Star Race and those who will compete in the All-Star Open.
The first eight drivers in practice are locked into the All-Star Race. Smith and Preece will be among those fighting to advance through the All-Star Open.
Ryan Blaney, who won the 2022 All-Star Race held at Texas Motor Speedway, was 26th fastest in practice.
Daniel Suarez had a single-car spin in the opening minutes of practice. Suarez, on his second lap, spun in Turns 3 and 4 in his Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, hitting the outside wall and scuffing the rear bumper. He wound up 32nd fastest. Suarez’s spin was the only incident in practice.
In the best 10 consecutive lap average it was William Byron fastest over Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr.
There are 37 drivers entered at North Wilkesboro Speedway for All-Star weekend. No driver in the field has previously competed at the track in a Cup Series race.