Blaney Paces Opening Texas Practice; Harvick, Kurt Busch Lead Playoff Drivers

By: Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie

FORT WORTH, Texas — Ryan Blaney, has always had a penchant for speed at Texas Motor Speedway in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, and that trend continued Friday afternoon in the First Cup Series practice session of the week for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

Blaney turned a blazing 198.976 mph lap, which was enough to edge out Championship contenders Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five fastest.

Here are where the Round of 8 Championship Drivers ranked in practice:

2. Kevin Harvick, 198.456 mph
3. Kurt Busch, 198.136 mph
5. Aric Almirola, 197.904 mph
6. Joey Logano*, 196.922 mph
7. Clint Bowyer, 196.872 mph
11. Kyle Busch, 196.457 mph
17. Martin Truex Jr., 195.737 mph
18. Chase Elliott, 195.716 mph

* indicates that Joey Logano is already locked into the final four by way of winning Martinsville

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images