Kasey Kahne hits 203 mph, leads 1st Cup practice at Michigan

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Perhaps feeling good after the announcement of sponsor Farmers Insurance staying on his No. 5 Chevy through 2017, Kasey Kahne threw down a lap of 203.332 miles per hour to lead today’s first Sprint Cup practice session at Michigan International Speedway.

Kahne was one of 21 drivers that broke the 200 mph mark in the opening session. He is looking for his first win of the season this weekend on the two-mile oval.

Chevrolet drivers made up the Top 7 fastest speeds this morning, with Kahne ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, rookie Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, and Jeff Gordon.

Earnhardt, a two-time winner at Michigan and the Sprint Cup Series’ most recent winner at Pocono, topped out at 202.943 mph in his No. 88 National Guard Chevy.

Team Penske driver and Michigan native Brad Keselowski led the Ford camp by posting a lap of 201.647 miles per hour this morning, good for eighth overall.

Defending Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson and Marcos Ambrose were ninth and 10th respectively.

Among the other notables: Ryan Newman completed his eventful morning by posting the 14th-fastest time (200.714 mph); Greg Biffle, who won at Michigan last June, was 22nd (199.989); father-to-be Kyle Larson was 24th (199.900); and IndyCar’s Juan Pablo Montoya was 37th (196.603) as he began his first NASCAR weekend of 2014.

The Cup contingent will now get ready for qualifying later this afternoon at 3:40 p.m. ET.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT MICHIGAN – FRIDAY PRACTICE TIMES

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup