Noah Gragson Tops Iowa NASCAR Practice with Widespread Tire Problems

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Noah Gragson Tops Iowa NASCAR Practice with Widespread Tire Problems
Noah Gragson ended up with the fastest average speed of 137.988 mph

Today, NASCAR Cup teams had a 50-minute practice session on Friday, which is unusual for this season. This session was scheduled because it’s the series’ first race at the .875-mile oval track, which has recently been partly repaved.

During the practice, many cars did quick runs that simulated qualifying laps. Noah Gragson ended up with the fastest average speed of 137.988 mph.

Ty Gibbs was second fastest with 136.558 mph, followed by Alex Bowman in third with 136.334 mph. Justin Haley and Chase Elliott completed the top five drivers.

Other top performers included Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, and Chase Briscoe, who rounded out the top ten.

Among those drivers who ran at least 10 laps in a row, Tyler Reddick had the highest average lap speed at 135.168 mph. However, Reddick also had a right-front tire go flat during the session.

About 14 minutes into the practice, Ty Gibbs had to stop on the track because of a flat right-front tire. Fortunately, he managed to avoid hitting the wall.

Later on, Christopher Bell, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing like Gibbs, also had a right-front tire issue. Unfortunately, Bell hit the wall between Turns 3 and 4, causing significant damage to his No. 20 Toyota. Bell’s team had to switch to a backup car, and he’ll have to start Sunday night’s race from the back of the pack.

Noah Gragson Tops Iowa NASCAR Practice with Widespread Tire Problems
Noah Gragson ended up with the fastest average speed of 137.988 mph

Ross Chastain faced a similar issue about 30 minutes into the session when his left-rear tire seemed to deflate, causing his No. 1 Chevrolet to stop on the backstretch. It took nearly 13 minutes to tow his car back to the garage.

Towards the end of practice, Austin Cindric experienced a right-front tire problem and lightly hit the Turn 2 wall. Like Bell, Cindric will also move to a backup car and start the race from the rear.

Christopher Bell reflected on his experience on the track, noting the high grip level on the lower part of the track, which matched their expectations for the race.

As teams prepare for Sunday night’s race, they will need to adjust their strategies and setups based on what they learned from today’s practice session, especially with tire management being a critical factor on the newly paved sections of the track.

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By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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