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Practice is in the books, and guess what? Hendrick Motorsports is fast.

William Byron jumped to the top of the charts early and stayed there throughout the session. Byron has been chasing Kyle Larson all season long. There is no surprise there because the entire field has been chasing the No. 5. But on Saturday, it was Larson who chased Byron.

Larson caught the No. 24 at the end of the session and posted an identical lap to the thousandth of a second. Byron and Larson’s fastest lap of 161.082 mph was one-hundredth of a second faster than Chase Elliott with a 161.022 mph. Those three drivers were already at the top of our list in this week’s Best Bets column and this reinforces the idea that all three drives will finish in the top five.

Larson gets the tiebreaker based on his fastest 10-lap average of 30.403 seconds. While Larson has the ability to go fast on short runs, he has been at his best over distance. A fast lap will get him out front; the fastest 10-lap average will allow him to yard the field.

HMS teammate Alex Bowman has been the least consistent all year, which encouraged us to place him among the top 10, but outside the top five. He landed 10th on the speed chart.

Ross Chastain (30.518), Kevin Harvick (30.570), Tyler Reddick and Elliott (both at 30.581) round out the top five on the 10-lap chart.

Byron sits 10th on the 10-lap average chart with a 30.718.

With NASCAR staying with the 2020 COVID-19 protocols this season, it is difficult to gauge precisely what drivers and teams are working on. Four longshots line up fourth through seventh on the single fastest lap chart.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted the fourth fastest lap of 159.600 mph and the seventh-best, 10-lap average. He was followed by Reddick (159.568 mph), Kurt Busch (159.425) and Chastain (159.414). The top-ranked drivers were making qualification runs and there is a big difference between going fast for a lap and doing so for 400 miles.

But track position was traditionally important under the old format and these drivers may well get a chance to line up near the front of the pack when time trials are held Sunday morning.

Stenhouse is listed at +370 to finish in the top 10 this week. Reddick is +125, Ku. Busch is +150, and Chastain is at +320. There are at least three solid bets in that group; Stenhouse has been a little too inconsistent to handicap accurately.

Denny Hamlin was eighth on the chart with a 159.403 mph. Hamlin is still looking for his first win of the season, but more importantly he needs to stop losing ground to Larson in the points standings.

Ryan Newman posted the ninth-fastest lap of 159.250 mph. At the beginning of the season, Newman was on our radar screen most weekends. He has lost his luster recently without a top-20 to his credit in the last four attempts. He finished 10th at Darlington Raceway, however, on another rough-surfaced track so he could be one of this week’s most pleasant surprises with odds of +450 to finish in the top 10. He was outside the top 20 on the 10-lap chart, however

We expected a little more out of Kyle Busch in practice. His 10-lap average of 30.670 was good enough for ninth on that chart. He did not offset that with a fast lap because he was 21st on the speed chart with a 157.171 mph lap.

Joey Logano was another disappointment. He posted the 14th-quickest, 10-lap average.