FORT WORTH, Texas – It was a decidedly Stewart-Haas Racing kind of day during Friday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway.
Both 50-minute rounds were led by a Stewart-Haas driver, with Clint Bowyer topping the overall time sheets at 28.620 seconds (188.679 mph) in his No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang.
Bowyer’s fast lap around the 1.5-mile quad-oval came in the first of two practice sessions on the afternoon. He’s seeking his first Cup Series victory in the Lone Star State.
Bowyer’s teammate, Aric Almirola, was just a whisker off the leading pace for the day but had enough steam to top final practice on Friday at 28.638 seconds (188.561 mph) in the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang. That lap was good enough for third overall.
Sandwiched in between the two SHR drivers was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch, second in first practice and runner-up on the day with a lap of 28.636 seconds (188.574 mph) in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick – a third Stewart-Haas driver – were fourth- and fifth-fastest on the combined rundown, respectively.
Harvick is the defending fall race winner at Texas.
Of note, playoff contenders Joey Logano and Chase Elliott both struggled to find speed on Friday, landing outside the top 10 in both practice sessions in Fort Worth.
Logano was 15th and 21st, respectively, in the two rounds, while Elliott ended up 26th and 15th.
Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night, with live coverage on CNBC, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.