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Xfinity practice report from Phoenix

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Austin Cindric topped Friday’s second and final Xfinity Series practice at ISM Raceway in suburban Phoenix.

Much like his Team Penske counterparts Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski, who were 1-2 in Friday’s sole Cup practice, Cindric put the Penske camp atop the second Xfinity practice with a speed of 132.129 mph.

Christopher Bell was second-fastest (131.791 mph), followed by John Hunter Nemechek (131.560), Ryan Truex (131.473) and Kyle Busch (131.430), who was fastest in the first practice earlier in the day.

Sixth through 10th were Cole Custer (131.043 mph), Tyler Reddick (130.942), Justin Allgaier (130.890), Noah Gragson (130.686) and Justin Haley (130.345).

There was one incident in the session when Ronnie Bassett Jr.’s Chevrolet Camaro hit the Turn 3 wall hard with about three minutes remaining, ending the session early. Bassett is slated to make his Xfinity Series race debut on Saturday. It’s unclear if his team will be able to repair the damage.

Xfinity teams will qualify (multi-vehicle, three rounds) Saturday at 12:40 p.m. ET, with the iK9 Service Dog 200 race later that afternoon at 4 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Click here for the full second practice speed chart.

FIRST PRACTICE SESSION:

Kyle Busch was fastest in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday at ISM Raceway in suburban Phoenix.

Busch topped the 29-driver field with a speed of 131.921 mph. The Las Vegas native will be seeking his 94th career Xfinity win in Saturday’s iK9 Service Dog 200. He’s also going for his second win in a row, having won last week’s Xfinity race at Las Vegas.

Christopher Bell was second-fastest (131.579 mph), followed by Cole Custer (131.148), Austin Cindric (131.133) and John Hunter Nemechek (131.043).

Sixth through 10th were Ryan Truex (130.890), Tyler Reddick (130.776), Noah Gragson (130.615), Justin Allgaier (130.572) and Justin Haley (130.506).

The second and final Xfinity practice session will run later this afternoon from 5:05 to 5:55 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full practice speed chart.

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Saturday’s Xfinity race at Las Vegas: Start time, lineup and more

Photo: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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Michael Annett won the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona, and Christopher Bell took the checkered flag at Atlanta last weekend.

Who will win the third Xfinity race of the season Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?

Here’s all the information for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Kerrie Burke, VP and General Manager of the Aliante Hotel Casino and Spa, will give the command to start engines at 4:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 4:16 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is at 12:40 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2:15 p.m. Driver introductions begin at 3:28 p.m. The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. Highwayman LIVE, a tribute to Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash at the Cannery Hotel and Casino, will perform the National Anthem at 4:01 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: Fox Sports 1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 67 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Ross Chastain won the race at Las Vegas last September. Justin Allgaier was second. Cole Custer was third. Kyle Larson won this race a year ago. Christopher Bell was second. Justin Allgaier was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Xfinity Series practice report from Atlanta

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Justin Haley was fastest in the Xfinity Series’ second and final practice session Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Haley posted a top speed of 177.783 mph around the track.

The rookie for Kaulig Racing was followed by rookie Noah Gragson (177.584 mph), Cole Custer (176.448), Ryan Preece (176.162) and Tyler Reddick (176.011).

John Hunter Nemechek recorded the most laps with 55.

Gragson had the best 10-lap average at 172.715 mph.

Click here for the speed chart.

First practice

Custer was fastest in the first Friday practice session with a top speed of 178.218 mph around the 1.54-mile track.

The top five was completed by Christopher Bell (176.989 mph), Justin Haley (176.555), Justin Allgaier (176.157) and Jeffrey Earnhardt (176.045).

Michael Annett had the best 10-lap average at 171.719 mph.

There were no incidents in the session.

The final Xfinity practice session set for 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the practice report.

Kyle Busch opens season atop NBC Sports Power Rankings

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NBC Sports kicks off a new weekly feature today with Power Rankings. The NASCAR Talk staff has come together to give its take on who’s hot, warm and even lukewarm.

Power Rankings will appear each Wednesday morning. Also on Wednesdays, the NASCAR America analysts will dissect the rankings and give their own takes.

Any driver in the Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series is eligible for these rankings.

Kyle Busch is at the top of the first edition of Power Rankings, just in time for Sunday’s Daytona 500:

1. Kyle Busch: Comes into the season with the most Cup wins in the last four years

2. Jimmie Johnson: Speedweeks 2019 couldn’t have started any better.

3. Brad Keselowski (tie): He was dicing with Menard for a while in the Clash and remains an odds-on favorite for Sunday

3. Joey Logano (tie): His title defense started without a major crash, which is more than can be said for many contenders

5. Kurt Busch: Among the strongest Chevrolets and seems to be blending well into Chip Ganassi Racing

6. Kevin Harvick: Should have most Cup wins last four years, but has left several wins on the table

7. Paul Menard: The Clash didn’t end the way he wanted, but Wood Brothers Racing can now be considered a Daytona 500 favorite

8. Martin Truex Jr. (tie): New team, same results. See ya in Victory Lane several times in 2019

8. William Byron (tie): Chad Knaus got him the Daytona 500 pole. Can he now get Byron the win on Sunday?

10. Chase Elliott: Can he and Johnson lead a Hendrick juggernaut in the 500 like they did in qualifying?

Others receiving votes: Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin and Brett Moffitt.

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Christopher Bell wins sprint feature in New Zealand; Kyle Larson second in midget race

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Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson started a tour of dirt racing in New Zealand Wednesday with midget and sprint car races at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland for the Boxing Day Bash.

Bell competed in both forms of racing and left the track with a win in the 15-lap sprint feature as a late Christmas gift to himself.

Bell won from the poll and defeated Michael Pickens and Matthew Leversedge for the win.

Results

MORE: Christopher Bell gets engaged

This is the second consecutive year Larson has visited New Zealand in the offseason to compete in midget races.

Larson finished second in the midget feature after starting on the pole.

Pickens won the 30-lap feature after starting second and leading every lap.

Bell finished fourth in the midget feature.

Results

You can watch the midget feature in the video below,

 

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