INDIANAPOLIS — Juan Pablo Montoya turned the fastest lap Friday in the first practice session for NASCAR’s Brickyard 400.
Montoya, an Indianapolis 500 winner in 2000 who later migrated to NASCAR stock-car racing, posted a lap of 185.410 mph in his No. 42 Chevrolet at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He was followed on the speed chart by Kurt Busch, whose fastest lap was 184.347 mph, Austin Dillon (183.944 mph) and 2011 Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard (183.700 mph).
It was the only practice session of the day for the Cup drivers, and the weather was unusually mild for central Indiana in late-July with temperatures in the high 70s.
The drivers practice again Saturday morning and then qualify to set the 43-card grid for Sunday’s race.
The opening practice Friday was not necessarily indicative of the strength of each driver’s car. Teams typically use practice to test various car setups for the race and for qualifying.
Among other notable drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the 10th-fastest time; Kyle Busch was 11th and Earnhardt teammate Jimmie Johnson -- a four-time winner of the Brickyard 400, including last year -- was 13th in his No. 48 Chevrolet.
Carl Edwards was 24th, Tony Stewart ran 25th and Danica Patrick was 37th. Her fastest lap was 175.610 mph.