Harvick a chart-topper in Texas, leads first practice – Nascar

RELATED: Practice 1 results | Chase Grid | Preview Show: Texas

Kevin Harvick scooted to the top spot in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.


Harvick powered the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet to a best lap of 196.685 mph on the 1.5-mile track. He’ll seek his first Texas win in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM). The event is the second of three events in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs’ Round of 8.


Carl Edwards was second-fastest in early preparation for Sunday’s 500-miler, pushing the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota to a best lap of 196.278 mph. Edwards was just ahead of Gibbs teammate Matt Kenseth, third-fast in the JGR No. 20 Toyota at 195.929 mph.


Joey Logano was fourth-fastest in the 85-minute session as Chase title contenders swept the first four spots on the leaderboard. Rookie Ryan Blaney completed the top five.


Defending series champion Kyle Busch, a two-time Texas winner who took the checkered flag at the Fort Worth track in April, crashed early in the session, forcing his Joe Gibbs Racing team to a reserve No. 18 Toyota. Busch was in the midst of his first lap at speed when the car pitched sideways into the Turn 4 retaining wall.

MORE: Busch set for backup


Busch returned to the track with 25 minutes left in opening practice, mustering the 22nd-fastest lap among the 40-car field.


Jimmie Johnson, a six-time Texas winner who has won the track’s fall race four straight years, was just 33rd-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet. Johnson prevailed last weekend at Martinsville to clinch a berth among the Championship 4 field for the Nov. 20 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET.

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