Chase Elliott fastest in final Cup practice at Fontana, then hits wall

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It was a good news/bad news situation for Chase Elliott in Saturday’s final NASCAR Cup practice session at Auto Club Speedway.

The good news for the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was he was fastest in the final practice with a speed of 187.480 mph.

The bad news, though, was after his fast lap, Elliott hit the wall and damaged the right side of his car, cutting his practice session short by about 25 minutes.

“We had a bar come unattached on the left,” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “We don’t really know why it did. It was nothing fancy that we were doing. I don’t know if the roughness of the racetrack bounced it loose or something like that.”

Still, it gave Elliott a good baseline for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at the 2-mile, mostly flat oval. Elliott will start the Cup race from the 13th position.

Second fastest was Martin Truex Jr. (187.378 mph), followed by Ryan Blaney (187.066), Erik Jones (186.994) and Cup pole-sitter Kyle Larson (186.814).

Sixth through 10th were Joey Logano (186.770), Matt Kenseth (185.955), Kevin Harvick (185.706), Kurt Busch (185.524) and Kyle Busch (185.519).

Both Busch brothers were involved in incidents of note during the session:

* With about 16 minutes left, Kyle Busch spun and appeared to flatten all four tires on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.

“I spun it out on the exit there and unfortunately, it just didn’t keep all the air in the tires in order to drive it back and not damage the car a little bit more than what we already did,” Busch told FS1. “We’re just missing it a little bit. There’s just something we can’t get right on entry here this weekend, and we’ve been trying to work on that.”

Busch, who has struggled for speed all weekend, ended his session early.

* Older brother Kurt Busch also hit the wall in the closing minutes, suffering moderate damage to the right side of his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

Click here for the results of the final Cup practice.

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