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.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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