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Aric Almirola is fastest in final Cup practice at Texas

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 - Practice

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 01: Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 01, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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Aric Almirola may have missed advancing to NASCAR’s championship round, but that didn’t prevent him from being the fastest in the final Cup practice Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver covered the 1.5-mile oval at a speed of 188.561 mph. Fellow SHR driver Clint Bowyer, who was fastest in the first practice earlier in the day, was third-fastest (188.258 mph) in the second session, with playoff driver Denny Hamlin sandwiched in-between at 188.350 mph.

Kevin Harvick, who has won the last two fall races at Texas, was fourth-fastest at 187.905 mph, followed by Kurt Busch (187.761 mph). The elder Busch brother was second-fastest in the first session.

As for the remaining playoff drivers still in contention for the championship: Ryan Blaney was eighth-fastest (187.650 mph), Martinsville winner Martin Truex Jr. was 10th (187.448 mph), followed by Kyle Busch 11th (187.415), Chase Elliott was 15th (187.039), Kyle Larson 16th (186.987) and Joey Logano was the slowest remaining playoff driver at 21st (186.728 mph).

Qualifying for Sunday’s AAA takes place Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET and will be carried on CNBC.

Click here for the final practice results.

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