Erik Jones, 18, is fastest in final Sprint Cup practice at Kansas

2 Comments

In only the second Sprint Cup practice of the day – and his career – 18-year-old Erik Jones was the fastest in Friday’s final session at Kansas Speedway.

The Michigan native, who is also making his first appearance at the 1.5-mile track, waited until the session was almost over to clock the fastest speed of the 43 drivers that took the track 191.306 mph.

“There’s been a lot of people that have been involved over the past few weeks to get me ready for this,” Jones told Fox Sports 1. “I think a lot of it was preparing mentally, watching videos, watching tape, talking to Kyle (Busch) and my teammates and just trying to get the best information I could out of everybody.

“It’s pretty cool to be fastest in practice. I know it’s only practice, but it’s still pretty cool. … There’s a lot of great race car drivers. It’s just really an honor to be fastest this practice.”

Earlier in the day in the first practice session, Jones gave a preview of what might be to come, recording the ninth-fastest speed. He also had the best 10-lap average in that session.

Four-time Cup champ Jeff Gordon was second-fastest at 191.184 mph, followed by Joey Logano (190.732), Martin Truex Jr. (190.490) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (190.396).

In a strange oddity, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart were 35th and 38th fastest in practice, but were 1st and 5th in the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average.

Here’s how the final Sprint Cup practice played out:

1 Erik Jones … 191.306 mph … 26 laps

2 Jeff Gordon … 191.184 … 5 laps

3 Joey Logano … 190.732 … 29 laps

4 Martin Truex Jr. … 190.490 … 9 laps

5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 190.396 … 9 laps

6 Jamie McMurray … 190.141 … 18 laps

7 Jamie Johnson … 190.127 … 9 laps

8 Clint Bowyer … 189.900 … 7 laps

9 Brad Keselowski … 189.853 … 25 laps

10 Aric Almirola … 189.853 … 15 laps

11 Greg Biffle … 189.633 … 17 laps

12 Matt Kenseth … 189.633 … 28 laps

13 Kasey Kahne … 189.454 … 27 laps

14 Austin Dillon … 189.374 … 18 laps

15 Ryan Newman … 189.288 … 8 laps

16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 189.255 … 16 laps

17 Kurt Busch … 189.102 … 27 laps

18 Denny Hamlin … 189.009 … 15 laps

19 David Ragan … 188.679 … 12 laps

20 Ty Dillon … 188.679 … 12 laps

21 Kyle Larson … 188.541 … 10 laps

22 AJ Allmendinger … 188.442 … 21 laps

23 Jeb Burton … 188.311 … 7 laps

24 Paul Menard … 188.278 .. 15 laps

25 Casey Mears … 188.147 … 20 laps

26 Carl Edwards … 187.689 … 29 laps

27 Justin Allgaier … 187.630 … 18 laps

28 Sam Hornish Jr. … 187.448 … 18 laps

29 Danica Patrick … 187.298 … 14 laps

30 Michael McDowell … 186.922 … 9 laps

31 Trevor Bayne … 186.761 … 12 laps

32 Josh Wise … 186.393 … 10 laps

33 David Gilliland … 186.188 .. 19 laps

34 Cole Whitt … 185.599 … 13 laps

35 Kevin Harvick … 185.471 … 33 laps

36 Brett Moffitt … 184.679 … 7 laps

37 Alex Bowman … 184.162 … 17 laps

38 Tony Stewart …. 184.137 … 49 laps

40 Joey Gase … 182.735 … 15 laps

41 Brendan Gaughan … 182.642 … 7 laps

42 Matt DiBenedetto … 182.205 … 10 laps

43 Landon Cassill … 180.240 … 26 laps

44 Michael Annett … 0 mph … 0 laps

Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average:

1 Kevin Harvick … 185.058

2 Carl Edwards … 184.161

3 Kasey Kahne … 183.488

4 Erik Jones … 183.459

5 Tony Stewart … 182.528

6 Joey Logano … 182.433

7 Kurt Busch … 182.119

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

NBCSN
Leave a comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”

and on Facebook

Bubba Wallace entered in Truck race at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.