Erik Jones rose to the top of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series leaderboard in Friday’s opening practice at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
In the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, Jones checked in with a fast lap of 137.862 mph around the 1-mile Arizona track. He was just ahead of JGR teammate Kyle Busch, who was .007-second slower at 137.825 mph in the No. 18 Toyota in a 1-2 sweep of cars owned by Coach Joe Gibbs.
Chase Elliott posted the third-fastest lap at 137.815 mph in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson completed the top five.
Kevin Harvick, a nine-time Phoenix winner, was 10th-fastest at 137.200 mph. His Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford team was docked 40 points and denied an automatic championship berth after infractions were discovered in a post-race inspection after Harvick’s Texas win last weekend.
Defending race winner Matt Kenseth was eighth-fastest in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford.
Cody Ware brought out the practice’s lone caution period, crashing hard in Turn 3 with 30 minutes left in the 50-minute session. His Rick Ware Racing No. 51 Ford made heavy contact with the Turn 3 retaining wall.
Two teams were penalized with deductions from their practice time at the end of the session. William Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 team lost 30 minutes of practice time after failing pre-race inspection three times. The Obaika Racing No. 97 for Tanner Berryhill was penalized with a 15-minute hold for being late to pre-race inspection.