Bowman leads first Cup practice at Fontana as Chevys dominate

Jim Utter

Bowman quickly posted the fastest average lap speed when the 50-minute session began and continued to improve throughout, leading the way at 179.439 mph.

In all, Chevrolet drivers claimed the top four positions and six of the top-10 speeds.

Kyle Larson ended up second (177.703 mph) and Tyler Reddick was third (177.607 mph). Kurt Busch was fourth and Matt DiBenedetto completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 speeds were Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski.

“I’m so thankful and appreciative to Auto Club Speedway and all the fans,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a special weekend with of course my family being here and waving the green flag.

“That practice was great. We stayed on one set of tires and we’re happy with our car and the comfort that it has. The second practice will tell us a lot more.”

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 88 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 23 40.125     179.439
2 42 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 17 40.517 0.392 0.392 177.703
3 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 21 40.539 0.414 0.022 177.607
4 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 23 40.592 0.467 0.053 177.375
5 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 24 40.768 0.643 0.176 176.609
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 20 40.791 0.666 0.023 176.510
7 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 20 40.791 0.666 0.000 176.510
8 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 22 40.805 0.680 0.014 176.449
9 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 28 40.882 0.757 0.077 176.117
10 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 21 40.901 0.776 0.019 176.035
11 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 23 40.944 0.819 0.043 175.850
12 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 27 40.955 0.830 0.011 175.803
13 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 23 40.999 0.874 0.044 175.614
14 6 United States Ross Chastain Ford 19 41.028 0.903 0.029 175.490
15 13 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 14 41.074 0.949 0.046 175.293
16 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr. Chevrolet 19 41.114 0.989 0.040 175.123
17 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 18 41.125 1.000 0.011 175.076
18 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 27 41.145 1.020 0.020 174.991
19 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 21 41.146 1.021 0.001 174.987
20 14 United States Clint Bowyer Ford 19 41.182 1.057 0.036 174.834
21 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 16 41.225 1.100 0.043 174.651
22 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 24 41.236 1.111 0.011 174.605
23 20 United States Erik Jones Toyota 22 41.247 1.122 0.011 174.558
24 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 27 41.295 1.170 0.048 174.355
25 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 23 41.311 1.186 0.016 174.288
26 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 33 41.326 1.201 0.015 174.224
27 38 United States John Hunter Nemechek Ford 21 41.487 1.362 0.161 173.548
28 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 19 41.616 1.491 0.129 173.010
29 95 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 22 41.715 1.590 0.099 172.600
30 32 United States Corey Lajoie Ford 18 41.719 1.594 0.004 172.583
31 15 United States Brennan Poole Chevrolet 24 42.359 2.234 0.640 169.976
32 52 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 3 42.365 2.240 0.006 169.952
33 96 Mexico Daniel Suarez Toyota 15 42.690 2.565 0.325 168.658
34 77 United States Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 2 42.855 2.730 0.165 168.008
35 53 United States Joey Gase Ford 14 43.205 3.080 0.350 166.647
36 51 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 8 43.319 3.194 0.114 166.209
37 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 19 43.510 3.385 0.191 165.479
38 66 United States Timmy Hill Toyota 5 45.222 5.097 1.712 159.215