Brian Scott was fastest in the first of two Nationwide Series practice sessions Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.  (Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Brian Scott fastest in first of two NNS practices Friday at Chicagoland

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JOLIET, ILLINOIS – Brian Scott paced the field in the first of two Nationwide Series practices Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Scott covered the 1.5-mile track 50 miles south of Chicago at a speed of 172.806 mph.

NNS rookie Chris Buescher was second-fastest at 172.623 mph, followed by Chase Elliott (172.568), Brendan Gaughan (172.342) and Kyle Larson (171.810)

Sam Hornish Jr. was sixth-fastest at 171.723 mph, followed by Kasey Kahne (171.396), Ryan Reed (171.238), Ty Dillon (171.189) and Trevor Bayne (171.086).

Larson and Kahne are the only two Sprint Cup regulars participating in Saturday’s Nationwide event, the 300.

Cale Conley was 11th-fastest (170.946).

Camping World Truck Series rookie Erik Jones, making his Nationwide Series debut this weekend, was 12th-fastest (170.827 mph).

Ryan Blaney was 13th-fastest (170.767), followed by Elliot Sadler (170.557), Regan Smith (170.154), Ryan Sieg (170.036), James Buescher (169.827), Mike Bliss (169.699), Dylan Kwasniewski (169.263) and Dakoda Armstrong (168.587).

Kwasniewski parted ways with crew chief Pat Tryson earlier this week, with former Turner Scott Motorsports car chief Shannon Rursch being promoted to replace Tryson.

Although 40 cars are entered for Saturday’s race, only 33 took part in the first practice session of the day on Friday. The second practice session is due to go from 6:30 to 8 pm ET.

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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

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.