Brad Keselowski was fastest in Friday’s NASCAR Cup Series practice at Phoenix Raceway, while the Championship 4 drivers began preparations for Sunday’s title decider (3 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock Premium).
PRACTICE: Where everybody ran Friday at Phoenix
Keselowski, who makes his final start with Team Penske this weekend, ran a fast lap of 135.384 miles per hour around the one-mile oval.
Two of the Championship 4 drivers, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott, cracked the top five single-lap speeds. Larson was second-fastest (135.293 mph), while Elliott, the reigning Cup champion, was fifth-fastest (135.019 mph).
The two other Championship 4 drivers, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., were farther down on the single-lap charts. Hamlin was eighth-fastest (134.118 mph) and Truex was 18th-fastest (133.427 mph).
In regards to lap averages, Larson had the fastest over five laps and second-fastest over 10 laps behind Ryan Blaney. Truex had the fastest over 15 laps.
The red flag came out once during the 50-minute session. Five minutes in, BJ McLeod‘s No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford caught on fire and came to a stop on pit road. McLeod climbed out of the car. Despite the incident, the team later confirmed it would not go to a backup.