Sunday, July 14, 2024

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A number of tire issues as Gragson leads practice

For the primary time this season, Cup teams had a 50-minute rehearsal on Friday, this time since it is the primary race within the series on the 875-mile oval. The track has recently been partially renovated.

With several cars making practice qualifying runs towards the top of the session, Gragson achieved a maximum average speed of 300,000 km/h.

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Ty Gibbs was second fast (136.558 mph) and Alex Bowman was third (136.334 mph).

Justin Haley and Chase Elliott rounded out the highest five.

Rounding out the highest ten were Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Chase Briscoe.

Among drivers who accomplished not less than 10 consecutive laps, Tyler Reddick (who also suffered a right front puncture) had the best average lap speed (135.168 mph), followed by Chastain and Bowman.

About 14 minutes into the session, Gibbs was forced to go away the track after getting a flat on his right front tire, but he managed to maintain his No. 54 Toyota off the Turn 3 wall.

Minutes after returning to the green, Gibbs' Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell also suffered damage to his right front tire, but he hit the wall quite hard between Turns 3 and 4, causing significant damage to the correct side of his No. 20 Toyota.

Watch: Christopher Bell crashes his lead automobile right into a wall during a rehearsal

“I just lost a tire, man. I lost a tire,” Bell said after the incident. When asked about what he learned during his time on the track, he said: “It's kind of what we expected. Lots of grip at the underside and that's what we expected.”

Bell's No. 20 team was forced to maneuver to a spare automobile and may have to begin Sunday's race behind the sector.

About half-hour into the session, Chastain's No. 1 Chevrolet got here to rest on the rear pulley after the left rear tire appeared to fail. It took him almost 13 minutes to tow his automobile on a dolly back to the garage.

Austin Cindric suffered damage to his right front tire and grazed the wall of Turn 2 about 10 minutes into practice. He can even head to the spare automobile and join Bell behind the sector.

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