Ty Dillon tops final Nationwide practice at Fontana

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After running 11th-fastest earlier this afternoon in Nationwide Series practice, Ty Dillon has topped NNS final practice for tomorrow’s TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway.

On the first of the 30 laps he logged in Nationwide “Happy Hour,” Dillon popped a lap of 176.462 miles per hour in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

That lap was nearly two miles per hour quicker than the second-fastest overall time in the session from JR Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, whose best lap was at 174.668 mph in the No. 9 Chevrolet. RAB Racing’s James Buescher took his No. 99 Toyota to P3 with a lap of 174.224 miles per hour.

Turner Scott Motorsports’ Dylan Kwasniewski (173.302 mph) and RCR’s Brian Scott (172.931 mph) rounded out the Top 5. Kyle Busch, who was the fastest in this afternoon’s first Nationwide practice, was sixth-quickest in the second practice (172.736 mph).

Nationwide qualifying will take place at 1:40 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon before the 300-mile race at 5 p.m. ET.


Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.