Dover practice recaps; Larson leads final Cup session, Custer Xfinity

DOVER, DELAWARE - OCTOBER 04: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Clover Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 04, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Team Penske driver Joey Logano and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson led the first and final practice sessions, respectively on Friday at Dover, Del.

Logano topped opening practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Friday, posting a fast lap of 163.222 mph around the high-banked Dover one-miler. His No. 22 Ford was a full 1-mph faster than the field in that session. Hendrick Motorsports driver – and first-year Playoff driver William Byron was second best with a lap of 162.133 mph in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

And 11-time Dover winner, Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson was third quickest – turning the fast lap only hours after his No. 48 Chevy’s sponsor Ally announced it was extending its sponsorship with Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 Chevrolet team through 2023.

Larson’s No. 42 CGR Chevrolet was quickest in final practice with a best lap of 162.705 mph – significantly faster than Martin Truex Jr. (161.377 mph) who won the Cup race at Dover this May. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and defending race winner Chase Elliott rounded out the Top-5 in Friday’s final practice session.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver Harvick, a two-time Dover winner, turned in the quickest 10-lap average between both sessions.

Xfinity Playoff driver Chase Briscoe led opening practice at Dover with a speed of 152.394 mph in the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste Ford.

Eight drivers among the Playoff mix turned in Top-10 practice runs in the first session. Joining Briscoe was Christopher Bell – a two-time defending Dover race winner – along with regular season champion Tyler Reddick, six-race winner Cole Custer and veteran Justin Allgaier who rounded out the Top-5. Series rookie Noah Gragson was seventh fastest.

The Top-8 of the current 12 Playoff drivers will remain championship eligible following Saturday’s race.  Brandon Jones and John Hunter Nemechek who are tied in ninth place in the standings were ninth and 10th respectively in the first session. Eighth place Michael Annett, who is on the Playoff bubble, was 14th.

Cole Custer led the final practice. He was followed by Briscoe, Harrison Burton, Gragson and Justin Allgaier.