This just in: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas are still fast. Carl Edwards demonstrated as much Saturday when he paced the first of two rounds of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in advance of Sunday's Kobalt 400 (FOX, 3 p.m. ET).
Edwards had a best lap of 191.564 miles per hour during the morning session at the 1.5-mile track. Unfortunately for the veteran driver, though, he will start Sunday's race from the back of the field, after a right-rear tire failure during qualifying on Friday put his No. 19 JGR Toyota into the wall. That forced Edwards to a back-up car and a starting spot at the tail end of the grid on Sunday.
But Edwards' back-up car clearly has plenty of speed, and the driver didn't sound upset at the prospect of having to come through the field in Sunday's race.
"In a way starting the race from the rear is kind of fun. Other than the fact that it's harder, it's kind of a neat challenge," Edwards said. "I've done it a bunch in my career. I think statistically when we start in the rear we do pretty well. We'll just go for it."
Second fast in the Saturday morning session was Austin Dillon, who wheeled the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to a best lap of 190.894 mph. Casey Mears was third in the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevy, with Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski completing the top five.
The final Happy Hour round of practice takes place at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on FS1.
See the full results from Saturday's first practice:
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