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Kevin Harvick Leader in Federated Auto Parts 400 Practice

Kevin Harvick Leader in Federated Auto Parts 400 Practice

by September 5, 2014 0 comments

Photo credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images

RICHMOND, Va. — Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet were the two fastest things in a three-hour opening practice for tomorrow night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 – running a lap of 20.912 seconds to claim the top spot on the scoring pylon at Richmond International Raceway.

Harvick would be followed on the speed chart by Brad Keselowski, who ran a lap of 20.962 seconds – half a tenth of a second off of Harvick’s session-pacing time. Running right behind Keselowski would be his Team Penske teammate and Richmond’s April winner – Joey Logano, who ran a lap of 20.977 seconds. Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards would round out the top-five while Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, and Ryan Newman would round out the top-10 of the session.

NASCAR provided teams with 180 minutes for the Federated Auto Parts 400’s opening practice to allow its competitors to test Goodyear’s new tire that will be in use throughout the weekend. The new tire compound comes from Goodyear after a July test at Richmond was used by Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush-Fenway Racing, BK Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Richard Petty Motorsports to test for a better tire wear rate and the ability to lay down good amounts of rubber on the track.

With this weekend being the debut of the new compound, Goodyear and NASCAR provided the teams with two extra practice sets. Denny Hamlin would put in the most laps on the new compound in practice with a total of 120 laps completed, J.J. Yeley would complete the fewest laps with 10 for BK Racing.

The four drivers who can still race their way into the Chase on points – Larson, Newman, Greg Biffle, and Clint Bowyer – would all be relatively close to each on the speed chart. While Larson and Newman would make the top-10, Biffle would be right behind them in 11th while Bowyer would find himself 14th-fastest on the scoring pylon.

Several potential Richmond contenders found themselves well off of Harvick’s pace during their respective 180 minutes of practice. Kyle Busch would run the 18th-fastest time of the session, Jeff Gordon would place 21st-fastest, Tony Stewart would run 23rd-fastest, and Kurt Busch would run the 24th-fastest time of the session. The younger Busch brother would be nearly six-tenths of a second off Harvick’s leading time.

Final practice for the Federated Auto Parts 400 is scheduled to kick off at the top of the hour – 1:00 p.m EST. The final practice session will run for 80 minutes and will be shown live on ESPN2.

Top-10 First Practice Speeds for the Federated Auto Parts 400

  1. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 20.912 | Leader
  2. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske – 20.962 | -0.050
  3. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 20.977 | -0.065
  4. 55 – Brian Vickers – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing – 21.025 | -0.113
  5. 99 – Carl Edwards – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 21.083 | -0.171
  6. 42 – Kyle Larson# – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 21.174 | -0.262
  7. 5 – Kasey Kahne – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 21.200 | -0.288
  8. 1 – Jamie McMurray – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 21.201 | -0.289
  9. 20 – Matt Kenseth – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 21.238 | -0.326
  10. 31 – Ryan Newman – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 21.265 | -0.353

# = Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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