Kyle Busch fastest in first of two Nationwide Series practices on Friday at Fontana

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Kyle Busch – like you expected someone else, right? – was the fastest overall driver in Friday’s first of two Nationwide Series practice sessions at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Busch, who won last week’s NNS race at Bristol, has been on a tear in NASCAR’s junior circuit. In addition to his win at Bristol, he also won at Phoenix, was second at his hometown track in Las Vegas and his overall “worst” NNS finish thus far this season was fourth in the 2014 opener at Daytona.

Busch was the only driver over 174 mph in Friday’s first session at 174.157 mph, followed by three fellow Sprint Cup drivers, Kevin Harvick (173.519), Joey Logano (173.281) and Matt Kenseth (173.244).

The fastest full-time NNS driver was Trevor Bayne (172.678).

Only 35 cars practiced for Saturday’s TreatMyClot.com 300. The slowest was Carlos Contreras at 153.866., more than 21 mph behind Busch’s speed.

Here’s the results for Friday’s first of two practice sessions for the NASCAR Nationwide Series:

1 Kyle Busch 174.157

2 Kevin Harvick 173.519

3 Joey Logano 173.281

4 Matt Kenseth 173.244

5 Trevor Bayne 172.678

6 Chase Elliott 172.616

7 Dylan Kwasniewski 172.509

8 Brian Scott 172.505

9 David Ragan 172.191

10 Regan Smith 172.125

 

11Ty Dillon 172.101

12 Kyle Larson 171.916

13 Brendan Gaughan 171.572

14 James Buescher 171.249

15 Elliott Sadler 171.221

16 Mike Bliss 171.127

17 JJ Yeley 170.503

18 Ryan Sieg 170.189

19 Ryan Reed 169.960

20 David Starr 168.741

 

21 Chris Buescher 168.512

22 Dakoda Armstrong 168.496

23 Landon Cassill 168.476

24 Jeremy Clements 168.366

25 Mike Wallace 168.004

26 Matt DiBenedetto 167.348

27 Jamie Dick 167.123

28 Josh Wise 167.030

29 Tanner Berryhill 166.995

30 Kevin Lepage 166.459

 

31 Jeffrey Earnhardt 165.468

32 Eric McClure 165.225

33 Daryl Harr 162.848

34 Joey Gase 161.478

35 Carlos Contreras 153.866

 

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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on NBCSN, NBC Sports App this week

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After five years and 98 Grands Prix broadcast since 2013, NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Formula 1 concludes with the 2017 season finale from Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit this week.

The lights come on for the day-into-night Grand Prix of the year as the sun sets on five years of broadcasts, original content and additional digital specific features such as Paddock Pass.

For Abu Dhabi this week, all of the race, qualifying and second free practice will be live on NBCSN with first and third free practice live on the NBC Sports App. The race returns is back in the usual morning a.m. time slots after three mid-day races in Austin, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, and a pair of overnight affairs in Kuala Lumpur and Suzuka. Formula 2 coverage of its season finale from Abu Dhabi also airs both on NBCSN and online.

With this the final race of the season before F1’s winter break, there’s still a handful of things to get sorted even though Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have wrapped their respective championships.

Sebastian Vettel (Brazil) and Max Verstappen (Mexico) have won the last two races, with Hamilton’s most recent win coming at Circuit of the Americas. Will it be any of these three that wrap the year on a high or could any of their teammates – Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo or Valtteri Bottas – upend the script?

Mercedes has won the last three races in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton winning in 2014 and 2016 with Nico Rosberg taking the 2015 crown.

Vettel and Hamilton have three wins apiece in Abu Dhabi, Vettel having taken all of his with Red Bull in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and Hamilton adding a 2011 McLaren triumph to his last two with Mercedes. Raikkonen (2012, Lotus) and Rosberg are the other Abu Dhabi winners, and while both Vettel and Raikkonen have won in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari never has in the first eight races here.

The last place up for grabs in the constructor’s battle is for sixth, with Toro Rosso (53 points), Renault (49) and Haas (47) separated by only six total points. Toro Rosso and Renault got into a nasty war of words in Brazil, and will part ways after the weekend.

Felipe Massa signs off his career in F1 for the second and expected final time at Williams, and with Toro Rosso having confirmed Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley last week, his seat is one of only three left to fill for 2018, and the most attractive.

McLaren and Honda also bring to an end their partnership after three troubled seasons, but on the bright side will look to score points for a third straight race together, which hasn’t happened since the Hungarian, German and Belgian Grands Prix of 2016.

As ever, and perhaps for the final time as a collective unit, Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett will be on the call with Will Buxton reporting from the pits and paddock.

Here’s the F1 schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Practice 1: Friday, Nov. 24, 4 a.m.-5:30 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Nov. 24, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, Nov. 25, 5 a.m.-6 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Nov. 25, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Nov. 26, 7 a.m.-8 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, Nov. 26, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-10:55 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • F2 Race: Sunday, Nov. 26, 6 a.m.-7 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • F2 Race (Replay): Sunday, Nov. 26, 9 p.m.-10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)