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

Leave a comment

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.

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”