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Byron tops COTA Cup practice

William Byron led Saturday’s extended NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Circuit of The Americas at 94.703mph (129.626s).

Byron jumped to the top of the leaderboard as the session drew to a close. Cup Series teams were given a total of 40 minutes on track (split into two 20-minute sessions) since COTA is the first road course race of the season and has the new rules package that debuted at Phoenix Raceway.

Ty Gibbs was second fastest in practice at 94.681mph. Alex Bowman was third fastest (94.416mph), Bubba Wallace was fourth (94.260mph), and Christopher Bell fifth (94.226mph).

Kyle Busch was sixth fastest (94.132mph), Ross Chastain was seventh (94.129mph) and Kamui Kobayashi, in a third entry for 23XI Racing, was eighth fastest (94.021mph). Kyle Larson (93.980mph) and Shane van Gisbergen (93.947mph) completed the top 10.

Busch was one of six drivers who spun in practice. However, they were all single-car spins without contact.