Roush-Fenway Racing drivers Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Ryan Reed used the draft to their advantage as they locked up the two fastest laps in the first NASCAR XFINITY Series practice of the day at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace put down a fast lap of 49.768 to pace the field on Friday afternoon. The fast lap by Wallace was an improvement from the first restrictor plate practice of the year at Daytona International Speedway where Wallace triggered a crash early in the practice forcing him to go to a backup car. Wallace went on to finish sixth at Daytona, and looks to improve on that in the second plate race of the season on Saturday.
Ryan Reed was second in practice behind his teammate. Reed has had some success on the restrictor plate tracks after winning at Daytona last season. It was Reed’s first career win.
Ty Dillon was third in practice. The young Richard Childress Racing driver will have a busy weekend as backup driver for Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup Series. Dillon started on pole earlier this season at Daytona.
Matt Tifft wound up fourth in practice. The 19-year-old is in the No. 18 this weekend, normally driven by Kyle Busch. Tifft was in the No. 18 Toyota last weekend at Richmond International Raceway where he ran inside the top-five for most of the race before being caught up in a late race crash. Tomorrow’s race will be Tifft’s third appearance in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Ty Dillon’s older brother Austin was fifth in practice. Dillon won the XFINITY Series race at Daytona last July and hopes that restrictor plate success transitions over to Talladega.
Brandon Jones, Blake Koch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top-10 in practice. Elliott won the first race of the season at Daytona, and is driving for the same team that won at Richmond last week with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. behind the wheel.
The first session of the day ran clean as there were no incidents. All 43 cars attempting the race made a lap.