Ford leads final practice sessions in Phoenix

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, races during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway on March 9, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Joey Logano topped Saturday’s final practice at ISM Raceway, running 137.794 mph on his sixth lap in the session. Team Penske teammate and pole winner Ryan Blaney was second fastest at 137.221 mph.

With nine-time Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick third and Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski fifth and sixth, respectively, Ford drivers occupied five of the top six positions on the speed chart. Kyle Busch was the only interloper, posting the fourth quickest lap (136.431 mph) in the sessions best Toyota.

Despite suffering from a lingering cold, Jimmie Johnson was seventh in the fastest Chevrolet.

Though ISM Raceway is a mile long, drivers routinely refer to it as a short track because of the way their cars drive on the relatively flat configuration. Phoenix is the first race of the season that will feature engines that can generate 750 horsepower, thanks to wider openings in the tapered spacers that limit airflow to the power plants.

Greg Engle