RCR cars fastest in race trim during lone Saturday practice

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 01: Daniel Hemric, driver of the #8 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The two cars that were fastest in qualifying trim on Friday retained that distinction in Saturday’s only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin Dillon and No. 8 Chevy of Daniel Hemric ran 1-2 during a wild practice session that preceded the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.5-mile track. Dillon covered the distance in 30.299 seconds (178.224 mph) on his fastest lap, with Hemric, his Richard Childress teammate, at 30.496 seconds (177.072 mph).

Hemric, though, was fastest in 10-consecutive-lap average (176.181 mph), narrowly edging Dillon (175.975 mph) for that distinction.

“The car is pretty good,” said Danny Stockman, Dillon’s crew chief. “We had a good test here a month ago. There are a lot of other good, fast cars. It’s just so tough, this Cup Series with all these great drivers and all these really good teams.

“It’s so close and getting the balance right is super important, and that’s what we worked on right here in Happy Hour. I think we’re close. We need to be a little bit better. The speed is definitely there.”

Note: Saturday’s scheduled early morning practice session was canceled because of rain, which cleared out in time for Happy Hour.