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Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

RCR’s Dillon, Hemric lead opening practice at Las Vegas

Using a fast lap of 180.294 mph in his No. 3 Chevrolet, Austin Dillon topped opening practice on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Daniel Hemric was second-fastest, his No. 8 Chevrolet notching a top speed of 180.078 mph. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin came up third on the leaderboard in his No. 11 Toyota (180.030 mph), while Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron used late runs to notch the fourth- and fifth-fastest spots, respectively.

Brad Keselowski, the most recent winner at Las Vegas and last week’s winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ranked 22nd on the leaderboard. Reigning race winner Kevin Harvick was 15th-fastest.

MORE: Full practice results

Practice leader Dillon was one of the 14 drivers that tested the 2019 rules package at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Last weekend’s race at Atlanta featured the majority of the package’s features, but Las Vegas will also utilize the aero ducts, which are designed to foster tighter racing at speedways longer than a mile in length.

The Monster Energy Series is back on track at 7:40 p.m. ET for Busch Pole Award qualifying with coverage on FS1.