Johnson Fastest in First Cup Practice at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Jimmie Johnson topped the chart in first Sprint Cup Series practice at Darlington Raceway.

The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 27.937 and a speed of 176.025 mph. Denny Hamlin was second in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with a time of 28.091 and a speed of 175.060 mph. Ryan Blaney was third in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford with a time of 28.147 and a speed of 174.711 mph. Kyle Larson was fourth in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with a time of 28.174 and a speed of 174.544 mph. Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five in his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with a time of 28.178 and a speed of 174.519 mph.

Brad Keselowski was sixth in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford. Chase Elliott was seventh in his No. 24 HMS Chevrolet. Martin Truex Jr. was eighth in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Paul Menard was ninth in his No. 27 RCR Chevrolet. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-10 in his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

Johnson posted the fasted 10 consecutive lap average at a speed of 173.389 mph. Hamlin was second at an average speed of 173.144 mph.

The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 1:30 p.m. for final practice.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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