2024 Nashville Practice Report

The 2024 Nashville Practice Report features a fast Ty Gibbs, only two Chevys in the top-10 single-lap practice times, and a good showing from Ford. But don’t rely on a simple inspection of the practice list for your picks!

Laps Run

Noah Gragson ran the most practice laps of any driver with 35. His best lap was 16th on the single-lap speed chart.

This table from the 2024 Nashville Practice Report shows the drivers who ran the most practice laps.

Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry ran the second-most number of laps: 31 each. Gibbs set the fastest time on his third lap with a 30.059s. That’s considerably faster than second-place Ryan Blaney, whose fastest lap came in at 30.222 seconds. Berry placed 13th in single-lap speed.

On the other side of the coin, Chase Briscoe ran only 11 laps, the fewest by any competitor. Briscoe was the second slowest driver of the practice sessions.

Chad Finchum ran 15 laps, Ryan Preece 17 laps, and Austin Dillon and Justin Haley 19 each. Tyler Reddick ran 19 laps.

The Group Effect

As I’ve noted before, tracks can change significantly from group A practice to group B practice. Sometimes it’s weather and sometimes just how the track rubbers up. That definitely happened here.

This graph from the 2024 Nashville Practice Report shows that Group A had a big advantage over Group B

Note that, although Chad Finchum is shown on the x-axis, his best time — a 32.706 was 2.67 seconds slower than the next fastest car in his group. The data point representing his time would be in the middle of one of the intro paragraphs.

This year’s fastest single-lap time was 30.059 seconds. Last year, practice was later in the day, so the times are faster. Tyler Reddick had the fastest practice time last year with 29.510 seconds,

I’ll say again: There is no reason to have two groups for practice, especially at tracks this large. While NASCAR does spend a lot of time protecting its competitors from themselves, I’m in favor of leaving it up to the drivers to not wreck during practice — and to pay the price if they do. Practice serves a purpose.


The graph below shows the best single-lap speed for each driver.

This graph from the 2024 Nashville Practice Report shows the distribution of speed by manufacturer.

The top 11 speeds were set in group A, but there were fewer Chevrolets in Group A and more Fords, as the table below shows.

That makes nine Toyotas in the field, 14 Chevrolets and 15 Fords. Because the division is uneven, don’t read too much into the fact that Ford had five of the fastest single-lap times overall. A better measure is:

  • In group A, two Toyotas, two Fords and one Chevy had the fastest five laps.
  • In group B, two Toyotas, two Fords and one Chevy had the fastest five laps.

Consecutive Lap Data

This is, as usual, the most important data in terms of race performance.

This graph from the 2024 Nashville Practice Report shows the average speeds for consecutive lap runs.

The most useful piece of information you get from this graph is how well a driver manages tires over a green-flag run. Here are the highlights:

  • Gibbs had the fastest single lap.
    • Gibbs also had the fastest 25-lap average, but only four drivers ran 25 laps. He beat out Berry for best 30-lap average by 0.001 seconds.
    • Bubba Wallace had the best five-lap average
    • Ryan Blaney had the best 10-lap, 15-lap and 20-lap averages. He didn’t run 25 consecutive laps.
  • Gibbs had a huge falloff from his single-lap time to his five-lap average.
    • My guess is that’s because he had everything in his favor (clean track, no interference from other cars) when he made his fastest lap.
    • That might suggest he wouldn’t be fast on a long run, but Gibbs is one of only three drivers who ran 30 consecutive laps (the black circles on the graph.) Gibbs’ 30-lap average is better than Ross Chastain’s 15-lap average and better than seven drivers’ fastest single lap.
  • If you want a seminar in taking care of your tires, Martin Truex Jr. is the one to give it.
    • Truex’s single-lap time was 30.496 and his 25-lap average is 30.620. That’s a falloff of only 0.082seconds — less than a tenth of a second over 25 laps.
    • Kyle Busch had a falloff of only 0.092 seconds from fastest lap to 25-lap average.
    • For comparison, Gibbs’ falloff over 25 laps is 0.474 seconds.
    • Chase Elliott had a falloff of 0.461 in the same metric.


Only three of the 10 fastest drivers in practice will start the race from the first five rows: Gibbs, Austin Cindric and Kyle Larson. Blaney practiced well, but qualified 18th. Denny Hamlin, the pole sitter, was 15th in single-lap practice times. If you’re betting, make sure you consider long-run times. Hamlin had quite the falloff, even in five laps. It will be interesting to keep track of how his lap times change today.

Last year, Chastain won this race from the pole. Of the top-six finishes, only one started outside the top eight. Twenty-one cars finished on the lead lap, and only one car failed to finish: Blaney, who was taken out by a particularly disturbing accident. There are tire barriers in the spot where he hit this year.

Last year, there were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers. However, two long green-flag pit stop series account for 11 of those lead changes.

That’s your 2024 Nashville practice report. Enjoy the race and good luck with your choices.

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