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Greg Biffle Leads Opening Southern 500 Practice

DARLINGTON, S.C. — It’s no secret that Roush Fenway Racing has struggled the past several seasons using packages with increased downforce and lower speeds so perhaps the low downforce package used this weekend for the Southern 500 will help the former Ford powerhouse start to dig out of its multi-year slump.

The veteran of the organization looked pretty solid through one practice session at least with Greg Biffle posting the fastest time on Friday morning at Darlington Raceway.

Biffle paced the field with a fast lap of 176.201 mph and was followed closely by three Stewart-Haas Racing team members in Kurt Busch (175.842), Tony Stewart (175.710) and defending event winner Kevin Harvick (175.710).

Carl Edwards completed the top five at 175.647 mph.

Several drivers got into the wall during the practice session, earning a famous Darlington Stripe in the process. The low downforce package made cars considerably more unstable in the corners just like it did at Kentucky and Trevor Bayne received the worst of the damage all the drivers that slapped the wall.

He tagged the rear of his Roush Racing Ford into the Turn 3 wall but drove away to the attention of his awaiting crew.
The complete results from first practice can be viewed below.

  1. Greg Biffle Ldr.
  2. Kurt Busch -0.057
  3. Tony Stewart -0.078
  4. Kevin Harvick -0.097
  5. Carl Edwards -0.088
  6. Paul Menard -0.105
  7. Joey Logano -0.116
  8. Ryn Blaney -0.193
  9. Denny Hamlin -0.215
  10. Brad Keselowski -0.237
  11. Kasey Kahne -0.255
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -0.281
  13. Martin Truex Jr. -0.338
  14. AJ Allmendinger -0.350
  15. Jimmie Johnson -0.374
  16. Jeff Gordon -0.378
  17. Austin Dillon -0.381
  18. Kyle Busch -0.392
  19. David Ragan -0.398
  20. Ryan Newman -0.433
  21. Clint Bowyer -0.479
  22. Sam Hornish -0.517
  23. Alex Bowman -0.520
  24. Casey Mears -0.534
  25. Matt Kenseth -0.566
  26. Chase Elliott -0.606
  27. Jamie McMurray -0.609
  28. Ricky Stenhouse -0.611
  29. Aric Almirola -0.616
  30. Kyle Larson -0.626
  31. Trevor Bayne -0.757
  32. JJ Yeley -0.828
  33. Landon Cassill -0.828
  34. Danica Patrick -0.858
  35. David Gilliland -0.968
  36. Travis Kvapil -1.153
  37. Josh Wise -1.192
  38. Matt DiBenedetto -1.198
  39. Michael Annett -1.198
  40. Justin Allgaier -1.234
  41. Cole Whitt -1.270
  42. Brett Moffitt -1.281
  43. Timmy Hill -1.691
  44. Jeb Burton -1.763
  45. Mike Bliss -1.842
  46. TJ Bell -1.899

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By Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the Executive Editor of POPULAR SPEED. He has covered NASCAR since 2011 and full-time since 2013. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He has been published all across the country and routinely makes radio appearances on Sirius XM Satellite radio and NBC Sports Radio Network.