Kenseth, Logano top final Sprint Cup practice; Tony Stewart 18th-fastest

Leave a comment

HAMPTON, Ga. – Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano put the Happy in Happy Hour Saturday evening at Atlanta Motor Speedway, setting the top speeds in the final tuneup for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500.

Kenseth topped the 43 drivers that took laps with a speed of 188.251 mph, followed by Logano at 187.869 mph.

Kenseth, who won a series-high seven races last season, is still looking for his first win of 2014.

Logano, meanwhile, is still riding the momentum from his win last Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin was third-fastest (187.114 mph), followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon (186.956) and Jimmie Johnson (186.855).

Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Kyle Larson (186.761), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (186.190), Carl Edwards (186.028), Brad Keselowski (185.834) and Kyle Busch (185.791), who made a significant gain after being 22nd-fastest in the earlier practice in the day.

Marcos Ambrose was 11th-fastest (185.449), followed by Austin Dillon (185.430), Greg Biffle (185.412), Martin Truex Jr. (185.189) and Aric Almirola (185.139).

Brian Vickers was 16th-fastest (185.127), followed by Ryan Newman (184.806), Tony Stewart (184.720), Paul Menard (184.542) and Jamie McMurray (184.480).

Stewart is back to racing after missing the last three events (Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol) due to the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy.

Other notables included:

Kasey Kahne was 21st-fastest (184.407), followed by three Stewart-Haas racing teammates all in a row: Kurt Busch (184.131), Kevin Harvick (183.473) and Danica Patrick (183.339).

Ty Dillon, who will make his first career Sprint Cup start on Sunday, was 28th-fastest (182.362).

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
1 Comment

The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.