After a weekend off to recharge the batteries, the Cup Series is back at it this weekend in Lebanon, Tennessee. Teams have made their way back to Nashville Superspeedway for the Ally 400 on the 1.3-mile oval. Last year was the first Cup race at the popular venue, which was won by Kyle Larson.

While there isn't much history with the Cup cars at this track, many of the drivers do have quite a bit of experience around this oval. Both Xfinity and Trucks raced here from 2001 through 2011 before returning last year. Three drivers (Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski) have won here twice in Xfinity while Joey Logano has one victory. Busch also has two Truck wins here, and Austin Dillon won the Truck race in 2011.

None of that experience will likely translate this weekend, and even last year's race will only be of minimal help. Like everything else this season, the Next Gen cars will throw a curve ball into team's plans.

Drivers got more practice time than usual today with a 50-minute session. Bubba Wallace posted the fastest lap of the day with fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch just behind him. Busch had a moment late in practice that nearly sent his No. 18 Camry into the wall after he got into Harvick's dirty air. Busch had the best five-lap average among all drivers.

Three Chevrolet drivers were among the five fastest today as Tyler Reddick, Larson, and William Byron all posted quick times. All six Toyota drivers finished inside the top 11 and Richard Childress Racing had a solid afternoon with their two cars. There are still plenty of teams will some work to do before qualifying tomorrow.

While Toyota and Chevrolet performed well today, it was a struggle for the Ford camp. Ryan Blaney (8th) was the only Ford driver inside the top 15 in today's practice session. Looking at the other end of the speed chart, 11 of the final 13 cars were all Fords.

Even with a weekend off, several teams and drivers are heading into Nashville with some positive momentum. Daniel Suarez and TrackHouse Racing are still riding the high after their victory at Sonoma, which was the first Cup win for the driver of the No. 99 Chevrolet. His teammate Ross Chastain also scored a 7th place finish, and was runner-up in the race here last year.

Chris Buescher is another driver that had his best finish of the season in that last race, finishing 2nd in his No. 17 Ford Mustang. The RFK Racing driver was disappointed that he didn't have enough at the end to race for the win, but it was a solid result for he and the team in what has been a miserable season so far for the organization.

Michael McDowell scored a 3rd place finish in the last race and has really turned it on over the last month. The Front Row Motorsports driver has earned five top-ten finishes over the course of the last eight races.

Despite entering this weekend as the defending race winner, it will be an uphill battle for Larson to repeat on Sunday. The reigning Cup champion will be without his crew chief Cliff Daniels for the next four races, after the team had a front wheel come off at Sonoma. Kevin Meendering will serve as Larson‘s crew chief for the next four weekends. It will be another challenge for the team as the continue their uphill battle this season.

The reigning Cup champion is hoping that Sunday's race plays out similar to the one last year. “It raced really well,” Larson said. “Last year, I think they put some resin on the track or something, and we were able to move up the track. It was pretty slick, and you could move around. I hope it’s similar to that. I think it should be, and probably even better. It seems like these Next Gen cars slide around even more, so it should be fun.”

There are several drivers that need to have a solid finish on Sunday as the race to make the Playoffs heats up. Ryan Blaney has been performing well but he still doesn't have a win this season. Martin Truex Jr is also winless this season as he tries to solidify his future after this year. His teammate Christopher Bell is also still looking for his first victory this season.

With so many first-time winners this year, it is surprising that Reddick is still not yet one of them. The RCR driver has shown speed at virtually every stop this year but something always seems to catch the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet, but this could be the weekend it all comes together.

Looking further down the standings, guys like Erik Jones, Wallace, and Keselowski are getting desperate for a win. Harvick is another veteran that has not been able to find victory lane this season. Despite a top-five finish at Sonoma, the Stewart Haas Racing driver was not pleased with his team's performance.

"We had our minimum of once-a-week catastrophic failure on pit road and got back as far forward as we could, as usual. It is what it is, I guess. We didn’t finish where we should have. We took away all of our chances. We should have been second at worst, but we keep screwing up every week." Harvick enters this weekend riding a 59-race winless streak, but there have been some changes in the No. 4 garage.

Daniel Coffey becomes the front tire changer for Harvick’s team while Brandon Banks is the team’s new jackman. Both come from teammate Chase Briscoe’s pit crew, who already won a race and secured their spot in the Playoffs. “We need to win a race,” crew chief Rodney Childers acknowledged. “We kind of feel like if you don’t win a race, you might not get in. You can’t really give up a lot of spots on pit road and still try to win races.”

Speaking of dry spells, Rick Hendrick's team has just one victory in the last eight races, and that was back at the beginning of May when Chase Elliott won at Dover. Parity has been the name of the game this season, with the emergence of teams like TrackHouse and 23XI Racing.

Qualifying for the Ally 400 begins at 1:00 ET tomorrow with live coverage on USA Network.