Kyle Busch may not be fighting for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship, but that isn’t going to stop the Richard Childress Racing driver from chasing another victory, as displayed during Friday’s 50-minute practice session from Phoenix.
The Las Vegas, Nevada native, driving the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet Camaro, paced the field in practice ahead of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway, posting a lap time of 29.520 seconds (130.813mph).
While Busch was the quickest driver in single-lap speed in practice, the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion did run into some issues, getting high and scrubbing the wall at the start-finish line, causing AJ Allmendinger to make contact and spin behind.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) November 4, 2023
Neither vehicle appeared to sustain much damage in the incident, with both continuing in the practice session.
Somewhat unusual for the season-finale event, Bubba Wallace – another non-playoff driver – was ranked second-place in single-lap speed, driving the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD for 23XI Racing.
Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell, the two Championship 4 drivers that aren’t from Hendrick Motorsports, were third and fourth place in the session, while Ross Chastain – one of last season’s Championship 4 – rounded out the top five.
Joey Logano was sixth, trailed by William Byron, the third of four championship-eligible drivers. Tyler Reddick, Ty Gibbs, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-10 in practice. Kyle Larson was the slowest of the Championship 4 drivers in the session, ranking 11th in single-lap speed.
The 10-lap averages appear to tell a similar story, with Bell and Blaney at the top of the heap, with William Byron trailing just behind in third place. Kyle Larson, driving the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, was ranked 10th on the 10-lap average.
Ryan Blaney was the leader of the championship-eligible drivers in both the 15 and 20-lap averages during Friday’s 50-minute practice.
Practice Results – NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix: