Even though it has struggled in the first seven races of the 2017 NASCAR Cup season, Joe Gibbs Racing showed a lot of its old shine in Friday’s lone practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Toyota dominated by placing five of the six fastest cars in the session. Erik Jones was fastest (127.843 mph), followed by JGR’s Kyle Busch (127.090), Ryan Blaney’s Ford (126.989), Jones’ teammate Martin Truex Jr. (126.964), JGR’s Matt Kenseth (126.704) and teammate Denny Hamlin (126.653).
The fourth JGR entry, the No. 19 of Daniel Suarez, was 27th-fastest (124.930 mph).
Late in the session, Joey Logano brushed the outside retaining wall, suffering minor but repairable damage to the right front fender and wheel well of his No. 22 Team Penske Ford Fusion.
“With all the marbles up there it was like you popped a tire,” Logano said afterward. “It just went straight to the wall. It’s amazing how quick it did that. Unfortunately, we got a little damage but it’s nothing that’s not fixable. … So we’ll fix it up and make some good adjustments. We’ll be just fine.”
Rain earlier in the day forced NASCAR to push back the session, as well as cancelled qualifying. To make up for that, NASCAR Cup drivers will have two practice sessions Saturday morning prior to the Xfinity Series race at 1 p.m. ET.