Keselowski, Biffle back on track after early wreck (VIDEO)

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Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle have both returned to the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway after being caught in a multi-car incident that brought out the red flag at Lap 49.

Keselowski was running tenth at that point when Kurt Busch moved from the apron to the banked tri-oval, sliding into Keselowski and spinning him out. The No. 2 Penske Racing Ford skidded along before sliding up the track in Turn 1, where it was hit from behind by Greg Biffle in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

Keselowski and Biffle were running 36th and 38th respectively at Lap 200 of today’s race, each of them more than 100 laps down. On Lap 182, Keselowski was hit with a speeding penalty on pit road, adding to his trying day at a track where he won one year ago.

Before returning to action, Keselowski said he was trying to be “patient” leading up to the wreck with Biffle.

“We were trying to get patient, because it looked like we will get the whole race in before rain and there is no reason to drive like an animal,” he said. “Apparently, I am the only one that got that memo. It is one of those deals.”

Kurt Busch apologized for triggering the incident, but while Keselowski felt there was no malice on the Furniture Row Racing driver’s part, he believed there was no reason for him to be on the apron in the first place.

“I am still wrecked, so I don’t know,” Keselowski responded when asked about whether or not the apology affected his view on the matter. “He is smarter than that. He knows better than that.”

Hamilton leads damp first USGP practice at COTA, Hartley debuts

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Lewis Hamilton continued his impressive Formula 1 record at the Circuit of The Americas by topping opening practice for the United States Grand Prix on Friday for Mercedes.

A four-time winner of the USGP at COTA, Hamilton set the pace in damp conditions in first practice after rain hit the Austin area in the lead-up to the start of the session.

After initially venturing out on intermediate tires, Hamilton made the switch to super-softs at the halfway point in FP1, ultimately posting a fastest time of 1:36.335.

Hamilton’s time saw him finish over half a second clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who he could beat to the F1 drivers’ championship at COTA this weekend should results go his way.

Mercedes got two cars into the top three as Valtteri Bottas wound up third in the second W08 car, six-tenths back from Hamilton, while Max Verstappen ended FP1 fourth for Red Bull.

Felipe Massa led Williams into the top 10 with an impressive lap en route to fifth, finishing ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Vandoorne was left to lead McLaren’s charge after a hydraulic leak sidelined Fernando Alonso for much of the session, limiting the Spaniard to just four laps in total.

Force India managed to get both its drivers up into the top 10 as Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finished eighth and ninth respectively, edging out Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. who was P10 in his first appearance for the team.

Brendon Hartley enjoyed his first run-out in Toro Rosso’s STR12 car ahead of his grand prix debut on Sunday, taking P14 overall.

The New Zealander had not driven an F1 car since a test with Mercedes in 2012, but put in a solid first display in practice, even though his race hopes are set to be hindered by a grid penalty.

Second practice for the United States Grand Prix is live on the NBC Sports app from 3pm ET today.