Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Daniel Suarez Fastest in Second Practice, Stenhouse to Backup Car

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

While the Blue Oval Brigade ruled on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing made their presence known in the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning.

The JGR duo of Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin would come out on top during the frigid 55-minute practice, as Suarez turned in the fastest speed of the weekend at 27.136 seconds, 198.998 mph.

Hendrick Motorsports also turned some heads in practice as William Byron and Jimmie Johnson clocked in third and fourth in the session, with Kevin Harvick’s Ford rounding out the top-five.

The remainder of the top-10 fastest practice speeds would go to Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Ryan Blaney.

The practice session was not without its issues, however. Stenhouse, Jr’s season of misery continued as his No. 17 Ford tagged the wall off Turn 4 after laying down the ninth-fastest time, causing enough damage to force the team to have to go to a backup car for the remainder of the weekend.

For a team that showed promise last season, this year has been anything but as they only have one finish higher than 15th in the first six races of 2018 and sit 21st in points heading into Texas.

Teams will have one more opportunity to dial in their cars as final practice will run from 1:30 pm to 2:20 pm ET on Saturday afternoon.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.