Menard tops Brickyard 400 practice

Paul Menard
Paul Menard

Paul Menard was the fastest driver over two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Practice sessions Saturday for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line.

Menard, the 2011 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner, topped the charts in the final practice session at 185.079 mph in the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford fielded by the legendary Wood Brothers Racing. He was 23rd fastest in the first session at 180.473.

Kyle Larson was second fastest overall at 185.025 in the No. 42 McDonald's Chevrolet, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch at 184.763 in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, defending Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Brad Keselowski at 184.600 in the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford and Chase Elliott at 184.305 in the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet.

As time expired in final practice, Denny Hamlin crashed in the No. 11 FedEx Toyota. Hamlin slid above the groove in Turn 4 and made contact with the SAFER Barrier. Hamlin stopped at the entrance to pit road and exited the car without assistance. His Joe Gibbs Racing team will go to a backup car, and he will start at the rear of the field for Sunday's race.

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