Denny Hamlin tops Michigan Cup practice at over 202 mph

Jim Utter
Denny Hamlin, still looking for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season, was fastest in Friday’s practice session.

With virtually all teams running in qualifying set-up, Hamlin set the fastest average lap speed (202.230 mph) late in the 50-minute session at Michigan International Speedway.

Hamlin has two series wins at Michigan, but his most recent came in the 2011 season. He was 12th in this season’s first event at the 2-mile oval.

Kurt Busch ended up second (201.901 mph) and Daniel Suarez was third (201.850 mph). Ryan Blaney was third and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and Paul Menard.

All of the top 15 drivers averaged at least 200 mph.

Chase Elliott, who earned his first series victory last weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, ended up 14th-fastest.

“This place is wild – it’s crazy fast,” said Martin Truex Jr., who ended up 11th-fastest and finished 18th in the June race. “I feel good about our car, though. We struggled here last time and came back with new ideas and the car is driving really good.”

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 7 35.603     202.230
2 41  Kurt Busch  Ford 5 35.661 0.058 0.058 201.901
3 19  Daniel Suarez  Toyota 7 35.670 0.067 0.009 201.850
4 12  Ryan Blaney  Ford 5 35.680 0.077 0.010 201.794
5 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 6 35.682 0.079 0.002 201.782
6 22  Joey Logano  Ford 5 35.715 0.112 0.033 201.596
7 14  Clint Bowyer  Ford 5 35.715 0.112 0.000 201.596
8 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 5 35.740 0.137 0.025 201.455
9 88  Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 9 35.752 0.149 0.012 201.387
10 21  Paul Menard  Ford 5 35.761 0.158 0.009 201.337
11 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 5 35.786 0.183 0.025 201.196
12 4  Kevin Harvick  Ford 5 35.790 0.187 0.004 201.174
13 3  Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 7 35.844 0.241 0.054 200.870
14 9  Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 5 35.892 0.289 0.048 200.602
15 2  Brad Keselowski  Ford 5 35.905 0.302 0.013 200.529
16 20  Erik Jones  Toyota 5 36.009 0.406 0.104 199.950
17 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 5 36.019 0.416 0.010 199.895
18 10  Aric Almirola  Ford 5 36.028 0.425 0.009 199.845
19 37  Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 7 36.058 0.455 0.030 199.678
20 31  Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 7 36.130 0.527 0.072 199.280
21 1  Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 5 36.164 0.561 0.034 199.093
22 24  William Byron  Chevrolet 11 36.170 0.567 0.006 199.060
23 47  A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 9 36.365 0.762 0.195 197.993
24 38  David Ragan  Ford 6 36.542 0.939 0.177 197.034
25 34  Michael McDowell  Ford 7 36.587 0.984 0.045 196.791
26 95  Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 5 36.741 1.138 0.154 195.966
27 48  Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 9 36.814 1.211 0.073 195.578
28 13  Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 15 36.820 1.217 0.006 195.546
29 00  Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 7 36.873 1.270 0.053 195.265
30 6  Trevor Bayne  Ford 9 36.908 1.305 0.035 195.080
31 32  Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 3 36.990 1.387 0.082 194.647
32 43  Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 10 37.034 1.431 0.044 194.416
33 72  Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 10 37.892 2.289 0.858 190.014
34 15  Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 4 38.092 2.489 0.200 189.016
35 51  B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 2 38.206 2.603 0.114 188.452
36 99  Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 3 38.317 2.714 0.111 187.906
37 7  Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 8 38.370 2.767 0.053 187.647
38 96  Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 9 38.507 2.904 0.137 186.979
39 23 Jones Blake  Toyota 5 39.424 3.821 0.917 182.630
40 66  Timmy Hill  Toyota 3 39.524 3.921 0.100 182.168