Kyle Busch fastest overall in Cup practice at Phoenix; Ryan Blaney quickest among Championship 4

Kyle Busch fastest overall in Cup practice at Phoenix; Ryan Blaney quickest among Championship 4

Kyle Busch was the fastest in the final Cup Series practice session of 2023 at Phoenix Raceway, posting a single lap of 130.814 mph.

The early edge among the Championship 4 participants goes to Ryan Blaney, who put down the fastest single lap of the title contenders with a 130.425 mph circuit around the 1-mile oval and showed long-run speed as the No. 12 Team Penske Ford was quickest 15 and 20 consecutive lap average.

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Christopher Bell was just behind Blaney as he was fourth overall in practice with a 130.378 mph single-lap time and has the short-run speed landing the fastest five and ten consecutive lap average in Friday evening’s 50-minute session.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson were a tad slower than the aforementioned. Byron landed seventh on the board with a 130.011 mph lap, while Larson was the only Championship 4 driver outside the top 10 with a 129.847 mph circuit around the track.

Byron posted top-five average times in five, ten, 15 and 20 consecutive laps, but Larson saw a significant falloff, hitting double-digit laps as he was outside the top 20 in 10 consecutive lap average and outside the top 10 in the 15 consecutive lap chart. Larson did not complete a 20 consecutive lap run in the session.

Non-title contenders Bubba Wallace (130.676 mph), Ross Chastain (130.378 mph), Joey Logano (130.072 mph), Tyler Reddick (130.011 mph), Ty Gibbs (129.959 mph) and Brad Keselowski (129.847 mph) were top 10 in practice.

In the final practice session of his career, Kevin Harvick was 12th with a 129.833 mph lap.