Blaney Leads Cup Happy Hour In Thunder Valley

Jacob Seelman Cup, Featured Leave a Comment

Ryan Blaney paced final practice at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday. (NASCAR photo)

BRISTOL, Tenn. — In search of their first Bristol Motor Speedway win since Elliott Sadler’s historic upset in 2001, the legendary Wood Brothers topped the speed charts during final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice on Friday afternoon.

Piloted by second-generation young gun Ryan Blaney, the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford lapped the 0.533-mile concrete high banks in 14.926 seconds (128.554 mph) to lead the 41 cars in attendance.

Blaney won at Pocono Raceway in June and scored the most recent of his four-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories at Bristol in August of 2015.

Fresh off his win last week at Michigan Int’l Speedway last week, Kyle Larson continued his torrid pace of late by landing second on the board with a lap of 14.983 seconds (128.065 mph).

Larson is chasing his fourth win of the Cup season and first-ever Cup win on a short track in the No. 42 Huggies Little Movers Chevrolet.

Blaney and Larson were the only two drivers underneath the 15-second mark during the hour-and-a-half session.

Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet was third-fastest (15.016/127.784) for Richard Childress Racing, followed by Larson’s CGR teammate Jamie McMurray, who finished the round in fourth (15.051/127.487).

Wednesday night’s Truck Series winner Kyle Busch completed the top five, as he seeks his second-career tripleheader sweep at Bristol, following his three-win weekend in ‘Thunder Valley’ in 2010.

Chris Buescher, hometown favorite Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones, A.J. Allmendinger and Clint Bowyer completed the top 10.

Martin Truex Jr., a four-time winner this season, was 11th and seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson ended up 22nd-quick.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN.

Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…

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