ALLY 400: Hendrick drivers power to top speeds

Hendrick Motorsports has won the last four points-paying races in the NASCAR Cup Series.

After Saturday’s practice performance, the organization seems poised to make it five straight.

William Byron and Kyle Larson posted identical speeds of 161.082 mph to lead practice for Sunday’s “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race.

The sold-out “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race is the first in track history and the first in Middle Tennessee since 1984.

Hendrick Motorsports swept the top three spots, with Chase Elliott running third quickest, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Tyler Reddick.

Brad Keselowski, a former Nashville Superspeedway winner, was only 26 th quickest but was impressed with the condition of the track.

“I’m really impressed,” Keselowski said. “The track is in amazing condition for having sat 10 years.  I feel like it’s in better condition than when I was last here.  I don’t know how that’s possible. It’s like it has reversed age. They’ve got the Fountain of Youth in here somewhere, but the concrete is really good.

“The last time I was here was really bumpy and it doesn’t seem to be nearly as bumpy as it used to be. The asphalt on the track where you blend down looks like it’s brand new, so somebody has been doing a lot of work around here and they’ve done an excellent job.  It’s far surpassed my expectations coming here to Nashville.”

The green flag is set for just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (NBCSN). Qualifying begins at 10:05 a.m.