Harvick, Dale Jr. drop in on New Year’s Day bowl games (VIDEO)

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New Year’s Day is a traditionally big afternoon for college football, and two of NASCAR’s most popular competitors have gotten in on the pigskin fun.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick brought out his new No. 4 Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet (pictured) onto the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida during pre-game ceremonies for today’s Outback Bowl between Iowa and No. 16 LSU.

Upon getting out of the car, Harvick then carried out the coin toss for the game.

Also making a bowl appearance was Hendrick Motorsports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr., who carried some important items – the game ball and coin – in his No. 88 Chevrolet as he drove out to midfield before today’s TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

That game wound up going to Nebraska, who earned a 24-19 win over No. 23 Georgia.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.