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Byron, Logano fastest in NASCAR Cup Series practice at COTA

by Mike Haag | Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

By Mike Haag, Raceday San Antonio

AUSTIN, Texas – William Byron and Joey Logano ended the NASCAR Cup Series practice session early Saturday morning at the top of the charts.

William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand at Circuit of The Americas on May 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Some 39 drivers practiced on a wet and sloppy track after morning showers drenched the 3.4-mile road course at Circuit of The Americas.

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers will compete Sunday in the inaugural EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix.  The action begins with qualifying at 10 a.m. and the race begins at 1:30 p.m. The event will consist of 68 laps, 231 miles.

Byron was the fastest in practice after posting a lap time clocked at 157.694 seconds, 77.847 mph in his No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet.

“Yeah, I hope it rains tomorrow,” Byron said. “It was really weird at first, just getting used to just where the best line was and getting used to the way you get around there. I’ve spent some time at the go-kart track in the rain and, honestly, you just try to adapt and learn.  Yeah, it was fun. It was a blast. I don’t know how it was to watch, but it’s so much fun driving.”

Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand at Circuit of The Americas on May 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Logano, who drives the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, was second fastest at 158.281, 77.558 mph.

“I haven’t really ran many wet races in my career.  I didn’t have much road racing background either, so it’s just kind of studying different races, watching rain races from here, whether it’s one of those Porsche-Lamborghini  40 car things and trying to learn from what we did in Daytona and the Roval and trying to figure it out from that.”

Logano added, “I don’t know.  Go kart experience from up in Mooresville.  I don’t know.  Outside of that, that’s what you’ve got.  It was a lot of fun out there.  I had a blast.  I was having a great time trying to find lap time, trying to push yourself.  The whole thing is a head game.”

Rounding out the top 10 fastest drivers in practice were Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Michael McDowell.

Practice results: 12114_PRACFINAL

Interviews:

NASCAR Cup Series Post-Practice: William Byron (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford)

Photo gallery

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 34 years. In addition to covering motorsports for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 17 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike taught high school English and Journalism for 30 years before retiring in May, 2020.