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Daniel Suarez tops Kyle Busch in Saturday's first Cup practice

Jim Utter

Suarez set his session-best average lap speed of 182.143 mph early in the 50-minute session but Kyle ended up a close end (182.051 mph), posting his fast lap very near the session’s conclusion.

Austin Dillon (181.488 mph) ended up third, Ryan Blaney was fourth and Kevin Harvick completed the top-five.

Suarez has three Cup Series starts on Charlotte’s oval with one top-10 one top-10 finish. He has an average finishing position of 10.7 with 99.9 percent of all possible laps completed.

“This season has been very good so far but I’m looking to turn it into a great season,” Suárez said. “We are moving in the right direction and I’m looking forward to doing even better.

“We’ve had strong cars over the last month and a half and hopefully I can do my part as the driver and make it a great race this weekend.”

Rounding out the top-10 were Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Hemric and Erik Jones.

Austin Dillon posted the fastest average lap speed among drivers that completed at least 10 consecutive laps (180.639 mph). Hamlin and Hemric were second and third in that category, respectively.

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Cla # Driver   Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez    Ford 49 29.647     182.143
2 18 United States Kyle Busch    Toyota 45 29.662 0.015 0.015 182.051
3 3 United States Austin Dillon    Chevrolet 48 29.754 0.107 0.092 181.488
4 12 United States Ryan Blaney    Ford 27 29.769 0.122 0.015 181.397
5 4 United States Kevin Harvick    Ford 35 29.774 0.127 0.005 181.366
6 11 United States Denny Hamlin    Toyota 52 29.780 0.133 0.006 181.330
7 14 United States Clint Bowyer    Ford 43 29.803 0.156 0.023 181.190
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.    Toyota 28 29.810 0.163 0.007 181.147
9 8 United States Daniel Hemric    Chevrolet 46 29.814 0.167 0.004 181.123
10 20 United States Erik Jones    Toyota 34 29.820 0.173 0.006 181.087
11 48 United States Jimmie Johnson    Chevrolet 42 29.834 0.187 0.014 181.002
12 13 United States Ty Dillon    Chevrolet 26 29.836 0.189 0.002 180.989
13 10 United States Aric Almirola    Ford 50 29.855 0.208 0.019 180.874
14 22 United States Joey Logano    Ford 43 29.862 0.215 0.007 180.832
15 9 United States Chase Elliott    Chevrolet 48 29.867 0.220 0.005 180.802
16 1 United States Kurt Busch    Chevrolet 43 29.898 0.251 0.031 180.614
17 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.    Chevrolet 41 29.925 0.278 0.027 180.451
18 2 United States Brad Keselowski    Ford 48 29.930 0.283 0.005 180.421
19 21 United States Paul Menard    Ford 37 29.983 0.336 0.053 180.102
20 47 United States Ryan Preece    Chevrolet 33 29.989 0.342 0.006 180.066
21 6 United States Ryan Newman    Ford 43 30.006 0.359 0.017 179.964
22 88 United States Alex Bowman    Chevrolet 48 30.007 0.360 0.001 179.958
23 24 United States William Byron    Chevrolet 33 30.043 0.396 0.036 179.742
24 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto    Toyota 44 30.054 0.407 0.011 179.677
25 42 United States Kyle Larson    Chevrolet 37 30.056 0.409 0.002 179.665
26 38 United States David Ragan    Ford 38 30.056 0.409 0.000 179.665
27 37 United States Chris Buescher    Chevrolet 35 30.068 0.421 0.012 179.593
28 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.    Ford 33 30.098 0.451 0.030 179.414
29 34 United States Michael McDowell    Ford 34 30.131 0.484 0.033 179.217
30 36 United States Matt Tifft    Ford 26 30.219 0.572 0.088 178.696
31 32 United States Corey Lajoie    Ford 31 30.248 0.601 0.029 178.524
32 96 United States Parker Kligerman    Toyota 35 30.339 0.692 0.091 177.989
33 15 United States Ross Chastain    Chevrolet 32 30.415 0.768 0.076 177.544
34 00 United States Landon Cassill    Chevrolet 23 30.445 0.798 0.030 177.369
35 52 Bayley Currey    Chevrolet 10 30.526 0.879 0.081 176.898
36 53 United States B.J. McLeod    Chevrolet 3 30.797 1.150 0.271 175.342
37 77 United States Quin Houff    Chevrolet 10 30.999 1.352 0.202 174.199
38 51 Cody Ware    Ford 22 31.077 1.430 0.078 173.762
39 27 United States Reed Sorenson    Chevrolet 16 31.111 1.464 0.034 173.572
40 66 United States Joey Gase    Toyota 4 32.445 2.798 1.334 166.436