Ryan Newman paces first Saturday practice at Las Vegas
Ryan Newman displayed a burst of speed during Saturday’s opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, soaring to the top of the leaderboard ahead of the 16 playoff drivers with a best lap of 183.892 mph.
The Richard Childress Racing driver missed out on the postseason this year, but showed his No. 31 Chevrolet still has plenty of juice for the final 1o races of the season.
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, who did qualify for the playoffs, was second in his No. 12 Ford at 183.268 mph. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola (183.194 mph), Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron (183.107 mph) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez (182.822 mph) completed the top five.
Byron and Suarez, like Newman, did not qualify for the 16-driver postseason.
Of those remaining drivers in the playoffs, Erik Jones (sixth) and Jimmie Johnson (seventh) logged top-10 times.
The “Big” 3 of Kevin Harvick (14th), Martin Truex Jr. (16th) and Kyle Busch (25th) fell outside the top 10 — far outside, in Busch’s case.
RELATED: Full lineup
Final practice is slated for 3:30-4:20 p.m. ET, with TV on NBCSN and a full leaderboard on NASCAR.com
Joey Logano led the opening session of the weekend on Friday afternoon in his Team Penske Ford.
Erik Jones will start on the Busch Pole when the South Point 400 gets underway Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
BREAKDOWN: Analyzing the field
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September 15, 2018 at 09:13PM