Keselowski tops New Hampshire Sprint Cup final practice

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So far, it’s been a Brad Keselowski kind of day in New Hampshire.

After leading this morning’s second Sprint Cup practice and then winning the pole for today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the 2012 Cup champion topped final Cup practice for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301.

Keselowski turned in a lap of 133.254 miles per hour in his No. 2 Redd’s Apple Ale/Team Penske Ford that was enough to lead late flyers from Jeff Gordon (132.771), Denny Hamlin (132.739), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (132.526).

Kevin Harvick completed the Top 5 (132.512), and he was followed by Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch (Sunday’s pole sitter), Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr.

Other notables from the session include: Jimmie Johnson in 11th, Tony Stewart in 15th, NBC Sports’ own Jeff Burton in 17th, defending race winner Brian Vickers in 25th, and Danica Patrick in 27th.

Aric Almirola, last week’s winner in Daytona, was 31st-fastest in “Happy Hour” (130.707) driving his backup No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.

During this morning’s second practice, Almirola suffered a tire failure and crashed his primary car; as a result of the incident, he’ll have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

Today’s Nationwide race will go off at 3:30 p.m. ET, and Sunday’s main event for Sprint Cup is set for a 1 p.m. ET start.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE – FINAL PRACTICE TIMES

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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