Ford Performance’s Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney Top Final Practice At Talladega Superspeedwayby Hunter Thomas April 29, 2016
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Team Penske’s Joey Logano topped the speed chart in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice with a lap of 48.785 seconds at 196.290 mph at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday afternoon.
Logano is the defending race winner of the October race at the superspeedway. The driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion was eighth fastest during the opening practice session.
“I am mainly happy,” Logano said. “Our Shell Pennzoil Ford has good speed in it. I feel like we are better than where we were in Daytona, which is great. I have something I can definitely race with. We went out in a couple of packs a few different times and were able to drive to the lead so it feels like everything is firing. The car is handling good and the spotter and driver are working well together so I am excited for what we have for Sunday with our Ford. One step at a time. We made a couple runs and now we are done. My guys are unbolting this thing and we will fire off Sunday and see what we’ve got.”
Ryan Blaney greatly improved from the first session. He jumped up to second fastest in final practice, a huge jump from 13th.
“With the way the weather is looking for tomorrow we wanted to make sure we put a decent lap down,” Blaney said. “I mostly worked with the 22 (Joey Logano. I think the 24 (Chase Elliott) was with us and a handful of others but we were kind of playing it safe. Our car is good. We have good speed. It is always like that as these race tracks. They do a really good job. We will see if we qualify tomorrow and go racing Sunday.”
Chase Elliott continued to stay inside the top-five as he set the third fastest time. He was second in first practice. Danica Patrick was fourth fastest in first practice, and she backed that effort up with another fourth fastest lap in final practice. Patrick also had the best 10 consecutive lap average with a speed of 192. 142 mph. Brian Scott opened up the day 20th on the board, but he was able to find more speed in his Richard Petty Motorsports No. 44 Twisted Team Ford as he clocked the fifth fastest lap.
Kasey Kahne and defending race winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. were sixth and seventh respectively.
“I’m just ready to start the race and get qualifying done and figure out how the weather is going to be,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Practice here is a little bit of fun because you just get out there and see what kind of car you’ve got. But you don’t really know for sure until you get out there with 43 guys. Everything acts a little bit different once everybody is on the race track together. So, the anticipation to get out there in the race is very high. Whereas, at other race tracks during Friday and Saturday, you really are working and grinding through practice and working on a lot of balance issues.”
Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon and Kurt Busch completed the top-10.
On Saturday, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 12:30 p.m. The GEICO 500 will broadcast live at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images