Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray pace Kentucky Cup practices

Rusty Jarrett/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

SPARTA, Ky. — Kyle Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray led the way in the weekend’s only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions at Kentucky Speedway.

Final Practice

Kyle Larson paced the field in final practice for Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing star’s 28.695-second circuit around the 1.5-mile oval proved the quickest in the session, easily besting runner-up Martin Truex, Jr.’s 28.848-second lap.

Chase Elliott (28.892), Ryan Blaney (28.961) and Kyle Busch (28.991) rounded out the top five, with Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Clint Bowyer and Erik Jones finishing out the top 10.

A slew of drivers saw a late entrance in the session courtesy of practice holds for infractions occurred at Daytona International Speedway. Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Cole Whitt and Ryan Sieg each saw 15-minute holds for failing inspection twice, while Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Kyle Busch and Landon Cassill were each issued 30-minute delays for failing inspection three times.

Jones saw a similar hold for failing inspection twice and being late to inspection, and Kenseth was held for 45 minutes for failing inspection four times.

Next up for the Cup Series is Coors Light Pole qualifying at 6:15 p.m. ET.

Results, via NASCAR

Practice 1: Jamie McMurray is off to a good start in the Bluegrass State.

McMurray’s 28.911-second lap proved strong enough to top opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice for Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, with a speed of 186.780 mph.

Martin Truex, Jr. followed McMurray with a time of 28.963 seconds, the only other time a driver’s lap fell below 29 seconds. Kyle Larson (29.017), Ryan Blaney (29.023) and Kyle Busch (29.042) rounded out the top five, with Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones completing the top 10.

All 40 teams on the property set a time in the session, which ran without issue. Elliott notched a session-high 66 laps, with Kyle Busch completing one less circuit. Busch also holds the distinction of fastest 10-lap average, with an average speed of 183.148 throughout a 10-lap run. However, only nine drivers completed such a run.

The Cup Series will return for second practice at 1 p.m. ET.

Results, via NASCAR

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