It looks like Team Penske and their drivers have found the secret to getting around World Wide Technology Raceway the quickest after the three-car organization swept the top-three positions in the NASCAR Cup Series’ only practice ahead of Sunday’s event.
Of the team’s three drivers, Joey Logano posted the quickest lap around the 1.25-mile facility, putting down a time of 32.906 seconds (136.753mph), to lead by more than one-tenth of a second over Ryan Blaney.
Rookie of The Year contender, Austin Cindric, posted the third-quickest time in the session, with Kurt Busch and Erik Jones rounding out the top-five. Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Busch completed out the top-10.
Harrison Burton – another Rookie of The Year contender — had one of his best practice sessions at NASCAR’s top-level, maintaining a spot inside the top-10 for the majority of the 50-minute session before an abundance of late-session runs placed him 12th.
Zane Smith – filling in for a COVID-positive Chris Buescher — took the session to learn the NextGen car, posting the 26th-fastest lap time in the session, only six-tenths behind Logano, and only twelve-hundredths off of teammate and team owner, Brad Keselowski.
The extended practice session saw a pair of incidents over its running, the first of which belonged to Ben Rhodes, practicing the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing, who lost control and hit the outside wall. Just minutes later, Parker Kligerman’s No. 15 burst into flames, drawing the session’s second incident.