Alex Bowman leads fourth Daytona 500 practice; Danica 19th-fastest in backup car

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In a Daytona 500 practice session that largely featured single-car runs, second-year Sprint Cup driver Alex Bowman earned top honors with a lap of 200.495 miles per hour in the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet.

Two drivers that were near the top in today’s earlier practice stayed there for this session. Kasey Kahne, P4 in the earlier practice, was second-fastest with a lap of 200.459 mph, while Trevor Bayne was third again but slightly quicker in this session at 200.387 mph.

Paul Menard was fourth on the time sheets at 200.374 mph, and was followed by Richard Childress Racing teammate Brian Scott (fifth, 200.285).

After sustaining some damage in a five-car incident earlier today, Denny Hamlin was sixth in this session at 199.309 mph. Danica Patrick was forced to go to a backup car as a result of that crash, but got out again and logged 13 laps. Her best lap at 192.835 mph was good enough for 19th.

Jeb Burton and Michael Annett, the other two drivers that must go to a backup following the crash, were among those that did not appear in this session.

Tomorrow sees Speedweeks kick into high gear with another 500 practice session (12 Noon – 1:25 p.m. ET), two Camping World Truck Series practices (1:30-2:25 and 3:30-4:55 p.m. ET), and the day’s main event – the two, 60-lap Budweiser Duels (Duel 1 at 7 p.m. ET; Duel 2 at approx. 8:30 p.m. ET) that will help set the 500 field.

Daytona 500 Practice 4
Daytona International Speedway
1. Alex Bowman, 200.495 mph … 12 laps run
2. Kasey Kahne, 200.459 mph … 18 laps run
3. Trevor Bayne, 200.387 … 5 laps run
4. Paul Menard, 200.374 … 12 laps run
5. Brian Scott, 200.285 … 10 laps run
6. Denny Hamlin, 199.309 … 11 laps run
7. Kyle Busch, 198.487 … 10 laps run
8. Ty Dillon, 198.382 … 20 laps run
9. Justin Marks, 198.334 … 17 laps run
10. Michael McDowell, 198.216 … 10 laps run
11. Jeff Gordon, 198.181 … 18 laps run
12. Kevin Harvick, 196.113 … 5 laps run
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 195.695 … 13 laps run
14. Jamie McMurray, 194.271 … 11 laps run
15. Joey Logano, 194.028 … 10 laps run
16. Ryan Blaney, 194.020 … 4 laps run
17. Jimmie Jonson, 193.849 … 13 laps run
18. Brad Keselowski, 193.295 … 18 laps run
19. Danica Patrick, 192.835 … 13 laps run
20. Ryan Newman, 192.406 … 1 lap run
21. Greg Biffle, 192.230 … 3 laps run
22. Casey Mears, 192.094 … 5 laps run
23. Aric Almirola, 191.832 … 6 laps run
24. Martin Truex Jr., 191.657 … 3 laps run
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 191.644 … 8 laps run
26. Cole Whitt, 191.624 … 5 laps run
27. Bobby Labonte, 191.018 … 6 laps run
28. Josh Wise, 189.785 … 3 laps run
29. David Ragan, 189.661 … 2 laps run
30. Matt Kenseth, 21.413 … 1 lap run
31. Landon Cassill … 0 laps run
32. Sam Hornish Jr. … 0 laps run

Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average
1. Kasey Kahne, 198.008 … Laps 1-10
2. Brian Scott, 197.802 … Laps 1-10
3. Jeff Gordon, 197.464 … Laps 2-11
4. Ty Dillon, 197.368 … Laps 1-10
5. Kyle Busch, 197.334 … Laps 1-10
6. Denny Hamlin, 196.940 … Laps 2-11
7. Alex Bowman, 196.876 … Laps 3-12
8. Justin Marks, 195.257 … Laps 1-10

Daniel Suarez fastest in final Coca-Cola 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Daniel Suarez completed a sweep of Saturday’s two Cup practice sessions by posting the top speed in final practice for the Coca-Cola 600.

Suarez recorded a speed of 180.704 mph around Charlotte Motor Speedway. He made 51 laps in the session.

“I will say one of the best (cars of his Cup career) for sure,” Suarez said. “I feel like this year I’ve had some good race cars with an opportunity to finish in the top five and top 10, but I feel like this car has been pretty solid.  It’s fast and it’s not comfortable to drive 100 percent, but I don’t feel like anyone out there is comfortable right now, so it’s been sunny and hot and slick and that makes things a little bit more difficult, but overall my team has been doing a very good job with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Performance.  We have a good piece and hopefully we can take advantage of it tomorrow.”

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric (180.686 mph), Denny Hamlin (180.553), Ryan Preece (180.469) and Kyle Busch (180.276).

“I felt pretty good with our practice there,” said Hamlin, who will start 20th Sunday. “It was one of our better practices of the year. We’re going to have to start from deep in the field, which is going to be a challenge with traffic, but we’ve got a long race to get it done. Pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Busch has the best 10-lap average at 179.485 mph

Chase Elliott recorded the most laps in the session with 62. He was 18th on the speed chart.

Click here for the speed chart.

Christopher Bell wins pole for Xfinity Charlotte race

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CONCORD, N.C. —  Christopher Bell will start first in today’s Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bell won his third pole of the season with a speed of 184.313 mph. His previous poles were at Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway.

The top five is completed by Cole Custer (183.187 mph), Tyler Reddick (182.192), Austin Dillon (181.659) and Brandon Jones (181.610).

Justin Haley will start 35th after an axle broke on his No. 11 Chevrolet in the middle of his qualifying run.

Ross Chastain did not finish his qualifying run after experiencing an electrical problem in the ignition on his No. 4 Chevrolet. He will start 37th out of 38 cars.

The Alsco 300 is scheduled to start at 1:16 p.m. ET on FS1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Check back for more.

Today’s Xfinity race at Charlotte: Start time, lineup and more

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After a two-week break, the Xfinity Series returns to action today for the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: North Carolina Basketball Legend Phil Ford will give the command to start engines at 1:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:16 p.m.

PRERACE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 10:45 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1 p.m. by Billy Mauldin, CEO and President of Motor Racing Outreach. U. S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Marc Wilka will perform the National Anthem at 1:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. The Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 90 degrees and a 20% percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Brad Keselowski won this race over Cole Custer and Christopher Bell.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Daniel Suarez fastest in second Coca-Cola 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Daniel Suarez topped the speed chart in Saturday’s first Cup Series practice for the Coca-Cola 600.

Suarez posted a top speed of 182.143 mph around the 1.5-mile track.

The top five was filled out by defending 600 winner Kyle Busch (182.051 mph), Austin Dillon (181.488), Ryan Blaney (181.397) and Kevin Harvick (181.366).

Denny Hamlin, who was sixth on the chart, recorded the most laps with 52.

Dillon had the best 10-lap average at 180.639 mph.

Ryan Newman got into the Turn 3 wall as the session ended and suffered significant damage to the right side of his No. 6 Ford. The team is repairing the car.

Final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. ET

Click here for the speed chart.