NASCAR: Jones leads opening Phoenix practice
By Kelly Crandall | RACER.com NASCAR correspondent
Erik Jones was fastest in the lone Friday practice session for NASCAR Cup Series teams at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway.
Jones ran a fast lap of 137.862mph (26.113s) to top Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. The best lap for Busch was 137.825mph. Chase Elliott (137.815mph), Brad Keselowski (137.762mph) and Kyle Larson (137.673mph) completed the top five.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were Ryan Blaney (137.553mph), Denny Hamlin (137.300mph), Matt Kenseth (137.295mph), Alex Bowman (137.216 mph) and Kevin Harvick (137.200mph). Kenseth is the defending race winner, and Harvick won the most recent race at ISM.
Five key drivers were outside the top 10 on the speed chart. Kurt Busch was 11th fastest at 137.164mph; Aric Almirola was 12th at 137.096mph; Joey Logano was 17th at 136.633mph; Clint Bowyer was 19th at 136.545mph; and Martin Truex Jr. was 20th at 136.488 mph.
Cody Ware brought out the caution during the session when he crashed in Turns 3 and 4, heavily damaging the No. 51. Ware tweeted he had no brakes after a brake caliper failed and lost fluid.
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ABOUT KELLY CRANDALL
Kelly has been on the NASCAR beat full-time since 2013, and joined RACER as chief NASCAR writer in 2017. Her work has also appeared in NASCAR.com, the NASCAR Illustrated magazine, and NBC Sports. A corporate communications graduate from Central Penn College, Crandall is a two-time George Cunningham Writer of the Year recipient from the National Motorsports Press Association.