Kevin Harvick leads Saturday’s early practice at ISM Raceway

Pole winner Kevin Harvick set the pace in Saturday’s early Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Harvick pushed the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford to a best lap of 134.710 mph. He earned the first starting spot in Friday qualifying for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the ninth of 10 races in the NASCAR Playoffs.

RELATED: Harvick wins pole | Best 10-lap averagesPractice 2 results

Kyle Larson turned in the second-fastest lap (134.680 mph) on the 1-mile track in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney filled out the rest of the top five in the 50-minute session.

Sunday’s 312-lap race is the final event in the three-race Round of 8. The championship-eligible field will be reduced to the four title-contending drivers who will vie for the Monster Energy Series crown Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Joey Logano, the only driver automatically locked into a Championship 4 spot, was 24th-fastest in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford — slowest among the eight title contenders.

MORE: See every car in the fieldFull schedule for Phoenix

The final portion of practice was set aside for teams to practice restarts. The Arizona facility is preparing for its first Monster Energy Series race with the start-finish line moved into the west turn.

Six teams were docked 15 minutes of practice time for being late to pre-qualifying inspection:

  • No. 7 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet for DJ Kennington
  • No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon
  • No. 23 BK Racing Toyota of JJ Yeley
  • No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson
  • No. 66 Phoenix Air Racing Toyota of Timmy Hill
  • No .97 Obaika Racing Toyota of Tanner Berryhill

Final Monster Energy Series practice is scheduled from 2-2:50 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). Three teams will have time deducted at the end of final practice:

  • No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet of AJ Allmendinger (15 minutes for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice)
  • No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. (30 minutes for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times)
  • No .97 Obaika Racing Toyota of Tanner Berryhill (15 minutes for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice)

This story will be updated.

The post Kevin Harvick leads Saturday’s early practice at ISM Raceway appeared first on Official Site Of NASCAR.

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