Rafael Martínez (No. 18 Canel's Toyota) was the fastest in the first practice session for Sunday's NASCAR Peak Mexico Series season-opening Difrenosa 120 at Mexico's Autodromo Monterrey.
He had a fast lap of 1:15.891 minutes. No. 6 Rogelio Lopez, No. 28 Ruben Rovelo, No. 77 Xavy Razo and No. 88 Ruben Garcia are the rest of the top-five. Julio Cesar Villalobos in the No. 78 was the slowest of the 32 cars out on the track for this session.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Joey Logano, driving the No. 22 America's Tire/Discount Tire Ford Mustang, led both Friday practice sessions for Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series Service King 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
His laps of 178.904 mph in the first practice and 176.804 mph in the final practice topped the 37 cars out on the track for these sessions. No. 42 Kyle Larson, No. 20 Erik Jones, No. 2 Paul Menard, No. 00 Cole Custer, No. 33 Brandon Jones, No. 19 Matt Tifft and No. 9 William Byron were other drivers running fast laps.
With a lap of 187.047 mph, Kyle Larson won the pole for the Auto Club 400 and will lead the field on Sunday.
This is Larson’s second career pole and the fourth time he will lead the field to green. He won the pole at Pocono Raceway in August 2014. He was awarded the top spot at Richmond International Raceway that spring and Kentucky Speedway in 2015. His best finish after starting first was 11th at Pocono.
After rolling out a backup due to a practice one crash, Jimmie Johnson was unable to post a qualification lap and will start in the back of the pack.
Johnson won last year’s Auto Club 400 and should be fine in race trim. Like Joey Logano who joins him in the back, he will earn a lot of place-differential points.
Joey Logano was one of five drivers who did not clear inspection at Auto Club Speedway in time to take qualification lap. He will roll off the grid from the back.
Logano will not have a very good pit stall and that could impact his chance of winning, but he will gain a lot of place-differential points. That makes him a great value this week. Logano’s worst previous starting position at Auto Club was 34th in his rookie season of 2009.
Kyle Larson posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Auto Club 400 with a speed of 189.071 mph.
That was 6/10ths of a second faster than second-place Denny Hamlin’s 188.462 as most drivers spent the majority of time working on qualification trim. Larson suffered crash damage last year in the Auto Club 400, but he has a great record on two-mile tracks overall and should be considered a favorite this week. Larson’s best previous qualification effort at Auto Club Speedway was a fifth in 2015.
Jimmie Johnson spun late in the first practice session for the Auto Club 400. He appeared to damage the nose and splitter significantly and will go to a backup. Johnson spun off of turn four during his mock qualification run.
Since the accident happened before qualification, Johnson should be able to keep his starting position. Qualification will be held later on Friday. Johnson has six previous wins on this track, including last March’s Auto Club 400. "A lot of loose," Johnson told reporters from the garage. We "crossed the line there, for sure." He had the 17th-fastest lap at the time.
Paul Menard has been mostly good, very consistent, but is currently trending down on two-mile tracks.
Menard had six consecutive top-10s on this track type from 2013 through spring 2015. That summer, he fell to 12th at Michigan, was 15th last spring at Auto Club, and now has a pair of 18ths in his latest two races. Still, he enters this week’s contest with 13 consecutive results of 18th or better on two-milers. All of them have ended on the lead lap.