Biffle leads NASCAR testing in Las Vegas

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Greg Biffle led Thursday’s testing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in advance of this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400.

Biffle’s fastest lap, 189.427mph, came on his 59th of 61 laps turned Thursday around the 1.5-mile oval in the second afternoon session of the day.

Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin set identical laps of 189.142, with Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Denny Hamlin, who had the most newsworthy day by virtue of his being fined $25,000 for remarks made after last week’s race at Phoenix, clocked in 25th on the speed charts at 184.875mph. He was one spot ahead of last year’s Las Vegas winner, Tony Stewart.

Danica Patrick led the three-car Stewart Haas Racing contingent in 19th. She recorded her best ever finish in NASCAR, fourth in the Nationwide Series, at Las Vegas in 2011.

Qualifying is Friday with the race at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”