Christopher Bell was the fastest NASCAR Cup Series playoff driver in Saturday’s practice at Darlington Raceway, which was also good enough for fastest overall in the session.
Bell, who ran 26 laps, led the way at 168.428mph (29.197s). His No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was the only one to crack 168mph.
Michael McDowell was second fastest at 167.277mph, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. third at 167.049mph, William Byron fourth at 166.642mph and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five at 166.591mph.
Austin Cindric was sixth at 166.433mph, Kyle Larson seventh at 166.349mph, Denny Hamlin eighth at 166.242mph, Chase Briscoe ninth at 166.017mph and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10 at 165.973mph.
Cindric and Briscoe were the only non-playoff drivers inside the top 10.
Martin Truex Jr. was 11th fastest (165.956mph), Tyler Reddick was 12th (165.956mph), Chris Buescher was 13th (165.659mph), and Kyle Busch was 15th fastest (165.359mph). Ryan Blaney was 16th (165.320mph), Kevin Harvick 19th (165.087mph), Ross Chastain was 23rd (164.898mph), and Joey Logano was 26th fastest (164.661mph).
Three of the playoff drivers bounced off the wall in practice: Larson, Busch and Truex.
Logano ran the most laps (37).
Erik Jones, the defending race winner, was 17th fastest.
In the best 10 consecutive lap average, it was Cindric fastest over Blaney, Hamlin, Truex and Bell.