Kurt Busch fastest in first of 2 Sprint Cup practices at Phoenix

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A Stewart-Haas Racing driver led the first of two Saturday morning Sprint Cup practice sessions – but it wasn’t Kevin Harvick.

Rather, Kurt Busch, who missed the first three races of the season after being suspended by NASCAR, was fastest at 136.768 mph. Harvick was third-fastest at 136.199 mph. Brad Keselowski was second at 136.379 mph.

The final Sprint Cup practice session will be from 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm ET.

Here’s how the practice session played out:

1. Kurt Busch … 136.768 mph … 41 laps
2. Brad Keselowski … 136.379 … 35 laps
3. Kevin Harvick … 136.199 … 29 laps
4. Jamie McMurray … 136.101 … 46 laps
5. Kasey Kahne … 136.075 … 33 laps
6. Martin Truex Jr. … 135.967 … 37 laps
7. Joey Logano … 135.952 … 34 laps
8. Kyle Larson … 135.900 … 52 laps
9. Paul Menard … 135.834 … 42 laps
10. Ryan Newman … 135.808 … 31 laps
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 135.803 … 35 laps
12. Denny Hamlin … 135.803 … 32 laps
13. Carl Edwards … 135.803 … 35 laps
14. Matt Kenseth … 135.762 … 37 laps
15. Clint Bowyer … 135.762 … 38 laps
16. Brian Vickers … 135.690 … 35 laps
17. David Ragan … 135.583 … 52 laps
18. Jeff Gordon … 135.471 … 45 laps
19. Aric Almirola … 135.201 … 34 laps
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 135.181 … 30 laps
21. Casey Mears … 135.176 … 37 laps
22. Danica Patrick … 135.105 … 37 laps
23. Greg Biffle … 135.074 … 28 laps
24. Jimmie Johnson … 135.054 … 29 laps
25. AJ Allmendinger … 135.008 … 17 laps
26. Tony Stewart … 134.816 … 38 laps
27. Sam Hornish Jr. … 134.806 … 33 laps
28. David Gilliland … 134.665 … 25 laps
29. Austin Dillon … 134.640 … 38 laps
30. Trevor Bayne … 134.519 … 30 laps
31. Alex Bowman … 134.078 … 25 laps
32. Josh Wise … 134.058 … 26 laps
33. Justin Allgaier … 134.043 … 40 laps
34. Landon Cassill … 133.953. … 24 laps
35. Cole Whitt … 133.774 … 22 laps
36. Michael Annett … 133.462 … 28 laps
37. Brett Moffitt … 133.462 … 30 laps
38. Matt DiBenedetto … 133.121 … 21 laps
39. Mike Bliss … 132.925 … 24 laps
40. JJ Yeley … 132.846 … 35 laps
41. Alex Kennedy … 132.802 … 38 laps
42. Jeb Burton … 132.314 … 20 laps
43. Brendan Gaughan … 130.124 … 15 laps

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Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

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Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – STP 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-six cars are entered for the sixth Cup race of the year. D.J. Kennington is listed in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ford.

Click here for the entry list.

Gander Outdoors Truck – Martinsville 250 (2 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered. Those also entered in the Cup race are Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ross Chastain. Bubba Wallace is entered in AM Racing’s No. 22 truck.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET with Bubba Wallace

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America presents Motormouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and they’ll be joined by special guest Bubba Wallace.

Fans will have the chance to call into the show to ask questions.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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Bubba Wallace entered in Truck race at Martinsville

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AM Racing announced Wednesday that Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 22 entry in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

AM Racing tweeted: “In an effort to advance the performance component of our program, we will be putting a different Chevrolet driver in the seat of the No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado for Martinsville Speedway this weekend.”

AM Racing stated that Wallace “has been selected with very specific objectives regarding program feedback and development. His record at the track speaks for itself.”

Wallace, who will be on Wednesday’s NASCAR America (5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN), has two wins in four starts in the Truck series at Martinsville. He won there in 2013 and in 2014. Both times he won driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Austin Wayne Self had driven the No. 22 entry in the first three Truck races of the season. He finished ninth at Daytona and followed that with a 27th-place finish at Atlanta and a 15th-place finish in Las Vegas. He is 12th in the points.