A hot and slick new track surface caused some problems for drivers in the opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Texas Motor Speedway.
Three drivers will be sent to backup cars following crashes in practice, one of which is former champion Kyle Busch. Busch backed his car into the turns one and two wall after getting loose. The team has elected to forego qualifying, and will in turn start at the rear of the field on Sunday.
Rookie Erik Jones will also go to a backup car as will Chase Elliott after a hard crash, which crunched the front end and back of his No. 24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet.
While several drivers struggled to find grip on the newly repaved track, Ryan Blaney posted the fastest time in practice with a 27.809 second lap. The remainder of the top-five drivers were riddled with surprises as Michael McDowell, Chris Buescher, Erik Jones and AJ Allmendinger closed out the five fastest speeds.
Points leader Kyle Larson was sixth fastest followed by Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Kevin Harvick.
Full results can be found below.
UPDATE: Busch’s team has since decided to repair the car instead of going to a backup, and will attempt a qualifying run.