Stewart-Haas Racing cars fast in opening Cup practice at Charlotte

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
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CONCORD, N.C. – Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer took the top three spots in the first Cup practice Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The session was open for all cars, regardless of if they were competing in the All-Star Race or Monster Energy Open on Saturday.

Almirola posted a lap of 181.360 mph. He was followed by Harvick (179.581 mph), Bowyer (178.915), Kyle Busch (178.778) and Paul Menard (178.696).

Click here for practice report

Harvick and Alex Bowman each ran the most laps at 44. Bowman was 20th on the speed chart with a top lap of 177.311 mph.

Harvick had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 178.481 mph. He was followed by Erik Jones (177.525 mph) and Bowyer (177.232).

There were no incidents in the session.

Brad Keselowski was the slowest of the 39 cars on track. He had steering issues and ran only five laps in the session.

Final practice for cars in the Monster Energy Open will be from 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET. Final practice for cars in the All-Star Race will be from 2:05 – 2:25 p.m. Cars in the All-Star Race then will have pit practice afterward to prepare for Friday night’s qualifying format that includes a pit stop.