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NASCAR Cup Sonoma: Ryan Blaney fastest in practice; Will Brown third

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Blaney, the reigning series champion, is still without a win this year after running out of gas with two laps remaining last weekend.

Blaney, however, set a blistering pace in practice with an average lap speed of 97.866 mph set in the final minutes.

NASCAR provided teams one 50-minute practice session on Friday after the track underwent a complete repave earlier this year.

If Blaney’s lap was done in qualifying, he would set a new track record.

Ty Gibbs ended up second quick (97.828 mph) while Supercars series leader Will Brown – making his NASCAR debut this weekend – was third fastest (97.616 mph.

“The guys back home in Australia race hard in a fairly similar car so I felt pretty good coming into the weekend,” said Brown, who is driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

“I’ve watched a lot what (Shane van Gisbergen) is doing and I’ve worked with him a lot. It’s great to have him as a spotter this weekend. It was a good start. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the racing.”

Hendrick MotorSports teaMMAtes Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Michael McDowell, Noah Gragson, Zane Smith, Ross Chastain and Martin Truex Jr.

About nine minutes in, Josh Berry spun around in Turn 2 and briefly ran off track. He did not appear to suffer any damage to his No. 4 Ford.

 

Cam Waters, a 12-time Supercars winner also making his Cup debut this weekend, spun and slid off course in Turn 1 about 15 minutes in and nearly hit the tire barrier but was able to return to the track.

Daniel Hemric spun and ran off track in Turn 2 with 25 minutes remaining but was able to get back under power and return to the track.

Erik Jones ran off course in Turn 10 with 10 minutes to go but didn’t do any damage to his No. 43 Toyota.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, Ross Chastain had the fastest average lap speed (95.667 mph). He was followed by Tyler Reddick and Bowman, respectively, in that category.

Watch: So close! Cam Waters goes for long spin, but keeps car off wall

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