By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – To no one’s surprise, the Championship 4 drivers were at the top of their game when the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session of the weekend began Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Though it might be their final race before closing up shop, Martin Truex, Jr. and Furniture Row Racing came out with guns ablazing, setting the fastest speed of the session with a lap of 31.035 seconds, 173.997 mph.
“A lot of emotions talking with the guys, but they’re fired up, and they feel like they’ve built one of the best cars they’ve ever sent out of there,” Truex said of the car on their final weekend together. “So that’s really cool for me to hear, and to see their passion and their excitement for this weekend, it gets me motivated and pushes me to try to get all I can. So we’ll see what we can do with it. It would be a hell of a story to go out on top.”
Fellow championship driver and future teammate Kyle Busch was second, with Kevin Harvick falling to fifth by the end of the session after sharing the top spots on the leaderboard with Truex and Busch for most of the time.
The fourth championship driver, Joey Logano, was late to get practice started as he was still going through tech inspection when the green flag dropped and things didn’t get much better from there as he only managed the 16th fastest time.
Of the non-championship drivers, Clint Bowyer was the fastest in third, followed by Chase Elliott in fourth. Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-10.
Next up for the Cup Series is qualifying, which will kick off at 6:15 pm Eastern on Friday evening, followed by two practice sessions on Saturday at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. The Ford EcoBoost 400 is scheduled for 2:30 pm on Sunday.