Keselowski’s car found too low in post-race inspection

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Brad Keselowski’s fifth-place finish in Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway may be overshadowed by potential penalties later this week after NASCAR found his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford to be too low during a post-race inspection.

NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce writes that any penalties would likely come down on Tuesday after officials from the sanctioning body review the situation.

The car of Martin Truex Jr. was tagged for a similar post-race violation after he finished second back in April at Texas Motor Speedway; Truex and his No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota squad each lost six driver and team points respectively as a result.

If precedence holds, a six-point hit for Keselowski would take him out of the Top 10 as the Sprint Cup Series heads for Pocono Raceway next week.

His fifth-place run, which came in the return race for his crew chief Paul Wolfe, engineer Brian Wilson and car chief Jerry Kelley following multi-race suspensions, was the best he’s had since finishing third at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this spring.

“We drove hard all day,” said Keselowski. “We just didn’t have the speed needed to go win the race, but we had the speed we needed to have a solid day.”

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.