Jeb Burton, Ryan Blaney fastest in Thursday’s two Truck series practices at Kansas

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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has not been on a race track for nearly six weeks, the last time being March 29 at Martinsville Speedway.

But even with the lengthy layoff, Jeb Burton and Ryan Blaney proved that the time off didn’t affect them adversely, as they were atop the heap of the two NCWTS practice sessions held Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway.

Burton put his No. 13 Toyota at the top of the speed charts in the first afternoon practice, covering the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway layout at 175.530 mph.

Ryan Blaney was second-fastest (175.165 mph), followed by Brian Ickler (174.820), Matt Crafton (174.769) and Ben Kennedy (174.735).

Sixth through 10th in the first session were Kyle Busch (174.689), Joey Logano (174.627), Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. (174.312), German Quiroga Jr. (173.801) and series veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. (173.734).

Only 28 trucks took part in the first practice, with Charles Lewandowski (160.671) and Norm Benning (157.054) the slowest of the bunch.

As for the second practice, Blaney had the fastest overall speed of the day at 176.148 mph, followed closely by Ben Kennedy (176.016 mph).

Joey Logano was third-fastest in the second session (175.063), followed by Timothy Peters (174.712) and Kyle Busch (174.678).

Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Burton (174.667), Austin Dillon (174.644), Tayler Malsam (174.312), Crafton (174.222) and Quiroga (174.087).

A total of 29 drivers took to the track for the latter session, with Scott Stenzel (28th-fastest, 157.159 mph) and Ryan Ellis (29th-fastest, 156.074 mph) as the only drivers failing to eclipse 160 mph.

NCWTS qualifying takes place Friday at 4:40 pm ET, with the SFP 250 race slated to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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