Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts - Practice

Kyle Larson sets pace in first Kentucky Sprint Cup practice

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The Hendrick-powered camps of Chip Ganassi Racing and Stewart Haas Racing have come out fast this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Both Ganassi cars and all four SHR cars were among the Top 10 in this morning’s first Sprint Cup practice session on the rough, 1.5-mile oval.

Ganassi’s rookie star, Kyle Larson, posted a lap of 183.549 mph in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet that was good enough to be fastest in the session.

Larson’s veteran teammate, Jamie McMurray, wasn’t too far behind in fourth (181.318), falling in behind Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski (182.143) in second and Michael Waltrip Racing’s Brian Vickers (182.143) in third.

As for SHR, Tony Stewart led the way in fifth (181.287) and was directly followed by all three of his teammates/employees – Kurt Busch in sixth (181.190), Kevin Harvick (180.759) in seventh, and Danica Patrick (180.415) in eighth.

Penske’s Joey Logano and Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne rounded out the Top 10.

Meanwhile, Roush Fenway Racing’s hopes of continuing their momentum following Carl Edwards’ win last week at Sonoma have perhaps dimmed a bit after a slow session.

Edwards was 28th on the time sheets (178.136), two spots behind Greg Biffle in 26th (178.224) and one spot above Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (177.995).

As for defending Kentucky winner Matt Kenseth, he was 20th in the practice (179.170).

Another Cup practice will take place at 1 p.m. ET, followed by three-round qualifying for the Quaker State 400 later on at 5:40 p.m. ET.


Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.