Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tops field in final Cup practice at Darlington

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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DARLINGTON, S.C. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had the fastest lap in Friday’s final Cup practice at Darlington Raceway.

Stenhouse paced the field with a lap of 168.844 mph. He was followed by Kyle Larson (168.763 mph), William Byron (168.480), Kurt Busch (168.261) and Matt DiBenedetto (168.249).

Aric Almirola will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field in Sunday’s Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN) after he hit the wall in this session.

“They say bad things come in three,” Almirola told NBCSN. “I wrecked at Michigan. I wrecked at Bristol. I wrecked here. Hopefully it’s over.”

MORE: Click here for practice report

Joey Logano ran the most laps in the session with 61.

Larson had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 166.897 mph. He was followed by Denny Hamlin (166.509 mph) and Kyle Busch (166.508).

Cup qualifying will be at 2:05 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN.