NEWTON, Iowa – On an extremely warm and muggy day in eastern Iowa, Chandler Smith led the way in ARCA Menards Series practice for Friday’s Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway.
Smith’s fast lap came with three minutes remaining in the 90-minute session.
With temperatures already in the upper 80s and expected to climb into the upper 90s, drivers were expected to deal with a lack of grip on the 14-year-old Iowa Speedway pavement. Smith’s 24.399 second/129.104 mile per hour lap narrowly eclipsed teammate Michael Self, who led the session briefly before Smith’s fast lap. Self’s lap of 24.431 seconds/128.935 mph was good for second fastest.
Bret Holmes set the fastest lap in the opening moments of the session and stayed there throughout the next 85 minutes, but for most of that time Holmes was in the garage area. He made significant contact with the turn four wall about 20 minutes into the session, seriously damaging the right side of his car. Holmes and team are busy unloading their backup car in hopes of making a lap during General Tire Pole Qualifying.
Corey Heim was fourth at 24.499 seconds/128.577 mph and Ty Gibbs was fifth at 24.668 seconds/127.696 mph.
Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Kaden Honeycutt, Travis Braden and Colby Howard rounded out the top-10.
In addition to the incident involving Holmes, the session was slowed four other times for incidents. The first caution of the day was for Rick Clifton, who’s car dropped fluid on the speedway. After the green came out following a lengthy clean-up the caution immediately came out again when Dick Doheny spun into the infield on the frontstretch. Howard spun off turn two shortly after the Holmes incident. Jason Miles also spun off turn two in the final half hour of the session.