Brad Keselowski leads Saturday AM Cup practice at Dover

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FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks pole sitter Brad Keselowski carried over his quick pace in qualifying to this morning’s Sprint Cup practice session, which he led with a lap at 159.702 mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford.

The Cup contingent will have their final practice at Dover International Speedway later this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“I’m really happy so far, but it’s a long way to go and the race is a lot different than practice,” Keselowski told Fox Sports.

“It’s cool morning temperatures and the track has a little bit of rubber on it, but nothing like what it’ll have on Sunday, and that will change it dramatically.

“We’re fast now, we have to stay ahead of our Miller Lite Ford Fusion, and we have to make sure we’ll stay fast for the race.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick was second-quickest this morning with his lap at 159.341 mph and also had the best consecutive 10-lap average (Laps 1-10, average of 157.749). He was followed by Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards and his lap at 158.856 mph, good for third on the time sheets.

Brian Vickers (Michael Waltrip Racing; 158.716) and Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing; 158.513) completed the Top 5 speeds. Kyle Busch, who will start alongside Keselowski on the front row for Sunday’s 400-miler, was only 22nd-quickest in his JGR Toyota (157.315).

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT DOVER – SATURDAY MORNING PRACTICE TIMES

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”