Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR

The Sprint Cup Series actually practiced under race conditions this weekend so that’s good news for fantasy racers, as the data below will have more merit than some other weeks. Both sessions were on Friday afternoon and qualifying is set to be held on Saturday at 1:30 pm on SPEED. Once the starting lineup is set, the cars won’t be on the track again until the Geico 400 on Sunday.

Important Practice Notes: As I said last weekend, Ryan does a great job detailing the happenings of each practice; he watches them like a hawk and monitors Twitter at the same time. Click here for the notes from first practice, and click here for the notes from Happy Hour.

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 Average Practice Speeds:

Average practice speeds are calculated by taking the average speed of each driver in each practice and multiplying it by the number of laps ran. When you do this for each practice and add the  totals together, and then divide by the total number of laps ran, you get an average of their practice speed, instead of just the one lap statistic you see when you look at practice sheets. I have found over the years that this is much more accurate as to whether or not someone has a car that is good for one lap or one that can consistently be fast. These numbers, however, can be skewed if a team puts new tires on frequently or rarely changes the tires.

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In the first practice session, the five fastest drivers were:
1. Martin Truex, Jr. – 181.763 mph
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 180.681 mph
3. Brad Keselowski – 179.784 mph
4. Trevor Bayne – 179.695 mph
5. Denny Hamlin – 179.623 mph
Click here for the complete results from this practice.

In terms of ten-lap average, the top five for the first practice were:
1. Paul Menard – 176.063 mph
2. Clint Bowyer – 175.513 mph
3. Denny Hamlin – 175.085 mph
4. Tony Stewart – 174.854 mph
5. Martin Truex, Jr. – 174.832 mph
Click here for the complete ten-lap average chart for the first practice.

In “Happy Hour”, the fast five were:
1. Kyle Busch – 181.507 mph
2. Aric Almirola – 181.214 mph
3. Mark Martin – 181.123 mph
4. Carl Edwards – 181.050 mph
5. Denny Hamlin – 181.002 mph
Click here for the complete results from this practice.

When it came to ten-lap average, the best for Happy Hour were:
1. Kasey Kahne – 176.260 mph
2. Kyle Busch – 176.234 mph
3. Kurt Busch – 176.073 mph
4. Denny Hamlin – 175.896 mph
5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 175.767 mph
Click here for the complete ten-lap average chart for Happy Hour.