Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson ended up posting the fastest average lap speed (109.143 mph) in Friday’s 50-minute practice session at the .625-mile oval in preparation for Sunday night’s All-Star Race.
Among the drivers that ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Byron had the fastest average lap speed (106.458 mph). Hamlin and Christopher Bell followed him in that category.
“I think you’re going to ride around there in fourth gear and maybe shift to fifth all the way around to save the tires more. It might actually work the opposite of what we normally have with wanting less RPMs to save the rear tires. Who knows?” Byron said.
“Maybe we start shifting if the pace is fast but I think you’re going to run around there in fourth.”
Less than two minutes into the session, Daniel Suarez – the first driver on the track – spun around off Turn 4 and made slight contact with the wall with the rear of his No. 99 Chevrolet.
Despite the rough surface – the track was last paved in 1981 – that turned out to be the only significant incident during practice.