Rowdy’s rampage continues in NNS

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Kyle Busch collected his third victory in five NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season, beating Sam Hornish Jr. by eight-tenths of a second to win the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway.

Busch took the lead from Hornish with 25 laps to go and pulled away to extend Joe Gibbs Racing’s winning streak in the NNS at ACS to a staggering nine races (Busch himself has six of those wins). However, he remains cognizant of the fact that neither his team or his manufacturer, Toyota, has ever claimed a Sprint Cup win at the two-mile oval in Southern California.

“I think it’s pretty cool that you can see a team go to a race track and dominate like that in the series, although it’s really awkward because we have nine in a row in the Nationwide Series and JGR has yet to win a Cup race here,” Busch said. “That’s quite an odd stat, but we’re working hard at it. I know [pole sitter] Denny [Hamlin] is really good for tomorrow and I think we’re okay for tomorrow, too.

“Hopefully, we can change that.”

Busch’s win on Saturday was his 54th in the NNS, and equaled his personal best at a single track; The Rowdy One also has six NNS victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He’ll start fourth in tomorrow’s 400-mile Cup event.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

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Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

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