CONCORD, N.C. — Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the first Cup Series practice for Sunday’s race on the Charlotte Roval (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
Johnson posted a speed of 103.152 mph around the road course in the final minute of the session, topping Kyle Larson‘s speed of 103.088 mph.
The top five was completed by William Byron (102.453 mph), Clint Bowyer (102.409) and Matt DiBenedetto (102.401).
Austin Cindric, who served as a relief driver for Michael McDowell, was 24th on the speed chart. McDowell, who went to the hospital for abdominal pains, has been cleared and will be back in the car this evening for qualifying (4:40 p.m.ET on NBCSN)
Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola recorded the most laps in the session with 16.
Click here for the speed chart.
Parker Kligerman hit the wall in Turn 1 early in the session and will go to a backup car. Kyle Busch locked up his tires and missed the frontstretch chicane around the same time. He later missed the backstretch chicane in order to avoid another car.
Denny Hamlin spun and backed into the Turn 5 tire barrier with about 29 minutes left in the session and will go to a backup car, meaning he’ll start from the rear on Sunday.
Hamlin said he got loose when he carried extra speed into the turn.
“It’s supposed to kind of be a weekend off (for his team),” Hamlin told NBCSN. “But obviously I put them behind the eight ball here and took away some track time for myself. Really stinks. But definitely feel like our backup car will be fine.”
Soon after the session continued, Joe Nemechek brought out the red flag when he stalled in the backstretch chicane.
Bubba Wallace spun in Turn 5 late in the session and lightly impacted the tire barrier.