NASCAR: 3 Sprint Cup stars lead 1st Michigan N’Wide practice

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Sprint Cup interlopers Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano led the way in the first Nationwide Series practice session at Michigan International Speedway ahead of Saturday’s 250-mile undercard.

Menard posted a lap of 190.411 miles per hour in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to take top honors in the first of two N’Wide practices today at MIS.

Larson, who drives for Turner Scott Motorsports in N’Wide, wasn’t too far behind Menard with a lap of 189.514 mph in the No. 42 Chevy. Behind him was Team Penske’s Joey Logano at 189.459 mph in the No. 22 Ford.

A pair of N’Wide regulars, rookie Chase Elliott and RCR’s Brian Scott, completed the Top 5 speeds. Elliott got up to 189.354 mph on his best lap, while Scott posted a lap of 189.011 mph.

Two more Cup competitors were also quick this morning in N’Wide, with Kyle Busch in P6 (188.952) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in P8 (188.783). Earnhardt is running a special eBay-backed No. 88 JR Motorsports car for Saturday’s race.

The N’Wide group will have one more practice today from 2 to 3:25 p.m. ET. Qualifying will take place tomorrow morning at 10:40 a.m. ET.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”