NASCAR’s Rocket Man lived up to his nickname, rocketing to the top of the speed chart in Friday’s second and final Cup practice at Talladega Superspeedway.
Ryan Newman piloted his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to a blistering speed of 204.157 mph to top the 39 drivers that took to the track.
Newman was the fastest of six drivers that eclipsed 204 mph, and led 24 drivers that topped the 200 mph mark.
By comparison, the top speed in Cup practice last fall at Talladega was 204.227 mph and 24 cars also topped 200 mph in the lone session that day.
Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second-fastest (204.127 mph), followed by Richmond winner Martin Truex Jr. (204.114 mph), Matt Tifft (204.092) and Cup points leader Kyle Busch (204.079 mph).
Qualifying for Sunday’s GEICO 500 takes place Saturday afternoon at 4:40 p.m. with two rounds of single-vehicle qualifying.
Click here for the full speed chart from Friday’s second Cup practice.