If you’re surprised, I don’t know what to tell you…
John Hunter Nemechek – who will compete for the NCWTS Drivers Championship on Friday night and the NXS Owner’s Championship on Saturday — was the fastest car in the only practice session for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Phoenix Raceway, posting a lap of 27.610 seconds / 130.387mph.
Austin Cindric trailed just behind in second, placing the highest of the ‘Championship 4’ drivers, who all were inside the top-seven on the speed charts. Daniel Hemric was third, which is a miracle considering the team didn’t even know if they’d get on the track for practice an hour before the session.
Noah Gragson clocked in fourth, with Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton, Justin Haley, and AJ Allmendinger rounding out the top-seven. Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Ryan Sieg – driving the No. 38 instead of his usual No. 39 — rounded out the top-10.
Other notables included: Myatt Snider (11th), Sam Mayer (12th), Michael Annett (13th), Brandon Jones (14th), and Riley Herbst (18th).
If lap times from Friday’s practice session were to be matched in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, the following six drivers would fail to qualify for the final race of the season:
- No. 13 – Stephen Leicht (39th in Practice, -0.353 seconds from 31st)
- No. 74 – Ryan Ellis (40th in Practice, -0.354 seconds from 31st)
- No. 52 – Joey Gase (42nd in Practice, -0.668 seconds from 31st)
- No. 66 – David Starr (38th in Practice, -0.299 seconds from 31st)
- No. 90 – Spencer Boyd (41st in Practice, -0.496 seconds from 31st)
- No. 61 – Timmy Hill (34th in Practice, -0.116 seconds from 31st)