Hendrick Motorsports driver, Kasey Kahne, leads the first Gen-6 practice at Michigan International Speedway. Kahne drove his no. 5, Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet to a fast lap of 200.619 mph. Kahne was one of four drivers to break that barrier. The chatter around the garage area today is that we will see the track record broken this week.
Kahne’s Hendrick Teammates, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jimmie Johnson also had solid top ten runs with a fifth and eighth respectively. Jeff Gordon struggled in practice and only posted a 28th place run.
Kurt Busch continues to impress everyone in his no. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet. Busch laid down a lap of 200.239 mph, and was second fastest in practice one. Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick round out the top five in the early practice.
Veteran driver, Mark Martin, who has the second most starts, and he most wins here among active drivers, led the Toyota camp. Martin posted a lap of 199.861 mph which was good enough for sixth on the practice sheet. All eyes are on the Toyotas this week, as TRD announced last week they would dial back the horsepower to achieve better durability. At Pocono last Sunday, Toyota did not lead any laps, and had no drivers in the top five. Two statistics they have dominated this season.
Roush-Fenway driver, Carl Edwards was the only Ford driver in the top ten. Michigan is usually a track at which Ford usually runs very well. Ford teams have struggled with speed this season. Greg Biffle had a solid second place finish last week, but other than that and Edwards win earlier in the season at Phoenix, they haven’t had much to brag about. David Ragan did manage a victory at Talladega Superspeedway a few weeks ago, but being a restrictor plate track, it is definitely not a good barometer of a team’s overall performance.
Qualifying will take place at 3:35 pm on Friday afternoon, with happy hour practice session on Saturday.