NASCAR Cup Series

William Byron leads wet COTA Cup practice

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Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

William Byron‘s EchoPark Texas Grand Prix weekend is off to a good start as he led the thirty-nine NASCAR Cup Series drivers in a rainy Saturday’s practice session at Circuit of the Americas. He set a fastest lap time of 157.694 seconds (approximately 2 minutes, 37 seconds) at 77.847 mph in fourteen laps around the wet Austin course.

Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell turned the most laps with fifteen each and finished as the fifth- and sixth-quickest drivers, respectively.

Austin Cindric, who led Xfinity Series practice on Friday, was the fastest part-time driver in eighteenth. Two spots behind him was James Davison, who won Wednesday night’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event at COTA. Other part-timers include A.J. Allmendinger (twenty-second), Justin Haley (twenty-ninth), Ty Dillon (thirtieth), and Garrett Smithley (thirty-ninth). Kyle Tilley, the reigning Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona LMP2 winner and NASCAR newcomer, was thirty-sixth.

Some drivers went ran wide, off course, or spun including Elliott, Camping World Truck Series pole winner Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Daniel Suárez. Unlike the Truck and Xfinity practices, the incidents did not result in any caution flags.

Qualifying will take place on Sunday before the Texas Grand Prix; as thirty-nine drivers are entered, no one will be sent home as was the case for the lower series. It will be the Cup Series’s first time racing at COTA. The weekend is the third of eight with practice and qualifying for the Cup Series, but the second to actually hold the latter as Bristol Dirt in March lost its qualifying session to rain.

Practice results

PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeBest Speed (mph)Laps
124William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet157.69477.84714
222Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord158.28177.55814
35Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet158.46877.46713
418Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota158.63977.38312
59Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet158.90877.25215
620Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota159.01077.20315
742Ross ChastainChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet159.45276.98913
81Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet159.67076.88413
912Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord159.78976.82613
1034Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord159.89276.77713
1117Chris BuescherRoush Fenway RacingFord160.03676.70812
1241Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord160.34276.56112
1314Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord160.38976.53910
1448Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet160.46776.50214
1523Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota160.80676.34013
1611Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota160.86876.31115
178Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet160.87776.30712
1833Austin Cindric*Team PenskeFord160.88776.30211
193Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet161.06576.21814
2015James DavisonRick Ware RacingChevrolet161.16276.1727
212Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord161.45676.03311
2216A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet161.48676.0193
2319Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota161.53675.99512
2447Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet161.62775.95314
257Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet161.62975.9523
2621Matt DiBenedettoWood Brothers RacingFord161.65975.93813
2799Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet162.00975.77414
2810Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord162.28375.64611
2977Justin Haley*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet162.36775.6076
3096Ty Dillon*Gaunt Brothers RacingToyota162.61575.4915
3151Cody Ware*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet163.83874.9285
324Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord163.95174.87614
3343Erik JonesRichard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet164.41574.6658
346Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord164.95574.42011
3537Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet165.48774.18111
3678Kyle TilleyLive Fast MotorsportsFord166.08273.9154
3738Anthony AlfredoFront Row MotorsportsFord166.09873.9089
3852Josh BilickiRick Ware RacingFord166.20073.8633
3953Garrett Smithley*Rick Ware RacingFord166.85873.5727
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points
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History major and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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