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
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.
Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.
Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.
Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.
Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.
With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.
Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.
Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.
GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.