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Hamlin tops Cindric in NASCAR Cup practice at Bristol

Hamlin ended up fastest in Group B and fastest overall with an average lap speed of 125.847 mph.

Following his first run in his 20-minnute practice, Hamlin reported an issue with the power steering and his team worked under the hood of his No. 11 Toyota for several minutes before he returned to the track.

The top-five overall speeds all came from Group B as Austin Cindric ended up second (125.027 mph) and Joey Logano was third (124.962 mph).

Rounding out the top-five were Kyle Busch and A.J. Allmendinger.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Hamlin had the best average speed (124.978 mph). He was followed by Allmendinger, Larson and Bell in that category.

Group B

Hamlin got off to a slow start but ended up topping Group with an average lap of 125.847 mph.

Cindric was second, Logano third, Busch fourth and Allmendinger fifth.

With just over six minutes left in practice, Busch spun off Turn 2 to bring out a brief caution. He did not impact the wall with his No. 18 Toyota.

However, Cindric just managed to avoid contact with Busch at the last minute.

Group A

Bell led the way in the first 20-minute session with an average lap speed of 124.702 mph.

Larson ended up second-fastest (124.694 mph) and Hendrick teammate Bowman was third (124.443 mph).

“It’s just the easiest thing I’ve ever driven around Bristol, so much grip, you can get back to the gas super-quick,” Larson said. “It honestly doesn't feel like you’re going that fast.”

Blaney and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five.

Playoff drivers Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon both struggled in practice, coming in 15th and 16th, respectively, out of the 18 cars.

“The Toyotas are unbelievable fast. We have to stay in the game and keep fighting,” Dillon said.

There were no on-track incidents in the first session.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 31 15.247     125.848
2 2 United States Austin Cindric Ford 32 15.347 0.100 0.100 125.028
3 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 47 15.355 0.108 0.008 124.963
4 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 31 15.368 0.121 0.013 124.857
5 16 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 45 15.377 0.130 0.009 124.784
6 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 51 15.387 0.140 0.010 124.703
7 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 49 15.388 0.141 0.001 124.695
8 6 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 49 15.395 0.148 0.007 124.638
9 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 46 15.402 0.155 0.007 124.581
10 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 36 15.402 0.155 0.000 124.581
11 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 49 15.407 0.160 0.005 124.541
12 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 48 15.419 0.172 0.012 124.444
13 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 51 15.421 0.174 0.002 124.428
14 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 57 15.437 0.190 0.016 124.299
15 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 42 15.447 0.200 0.010 124.218
16 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 38 15.461 0.214 0.014 124.106
17 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 40 15.473 0.226 0.012 124.010
18 31 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 39 15.483 0.236 0.010 123.929
19 1 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 47 15.520 0.273 0.037 123.634
20 23 Ty Gibbs Toyota 51 15.526 0.279 0.006 123.586
21 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 57 15.536 0.289 0.010 123.507
22 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 37 15.537 0.290 0.001 123.499
23 45 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 50 15.539 0.292 0.002 123.483
24 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 40 15.541 0.294 0.002 123.467
25 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 39 15.546 0.299 0.005 123.427
26 15 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 42 15.558 0.311 0.012 123.332
27 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 39 15.560 0.313 0.002 123.316
28 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 49 15.565 0.318 0.005 123.277
29 51 United States Cody Ware Ford 37 15.566 0.319 0.001 123.269
30 21 United States Harrison Burton Ford 42 15.572 0.325 0.006 123.221
31 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 55 15.576 0.329 0.004 123.190
32 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 50 15.608 0.361 0.032 122.937
33 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 39 15.681 0.434 0.073 122.365
34 77 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 50 15.737 0.490 0.056 121.929
35 42 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 28 15.759 0.512 0.022 121.759
36 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 11 15.820 0.573 0.061 121.290
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