Coming off of what might’ve been a close battle for the win before a late race caution at Las Vegas turned that battle into heartbreak, Alex Bowman was quickest in both practice sessions for the NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway.
Bowman, no. 88, posted a time of 40.125 seconds (179.439 MPH average) in first practice, bettering Kyle Larson by nearly four tenths of a second. Larson posted the second fastest time of 40.517 seconds (177.703 MPH average).
The rest of the top ten in first practice were Tyler Reddick, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski.
Bowman backed that up with a leading time of 40.764 seconds (176.626 MPH average) in final practice, bettering Ryan Blaney by just over a tenth of a second. Blaney posted the second fastest time of 40.866 seconds (176.186 MPH average).
The rest of the top ten in final practice were Darrell Wallace Jr., Kurt Busch, Christopher Bell, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Busch.
Just missing the top ten in final practice was Ross Chastain who posted a time of 41.067 seconds (175.323 MPH average).
Sunday will mark the second race that Chastain will be filling in for Ryan Newman with the no. 6 Ford. Chastain was 14th fastest in first practice.
Last week’s winner, no. 22 Joey Logano, was 13th fastest in first practice with a time of 40.999 seconds (175.614 MPH average).
Logano was 16th fastest in final practice with a time of 41.112 seconds (175.131 MPH average).
Cup qualifying will take place Saturday at 2:35pm EST (TV: FS1; Radio: MRN). Sunday’s race is 3:30pm EST (TV: FOX; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.