McMurray to race primary car after practice incident

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Still in contention for a Chase berth, Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing have dodged a potential bullet by managing to salvage its primary car for today’s Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

During yesterday’s final practice session, McMurray suffered a left-rear tire failure on his No. 1 McDonalds-backed Chevrolet and went into the wall, causing considerable damage. With an 11th-place starting position on the line at a place where track position is critical, the EGR camp asked for and received extra time from NASCAR to make repairs after the garage closed at NHMS yesterday.

“I honestly thought we had a top two or three car after about 10 or 15 laps,” McMurray said on Saturday according to the NASCAR Wire Service. “Our car was really fast. I feel good about it – if they can get this car fixed.”

The EGR team was able to do just that, as McMurray’s repaired machine made its way through pre-race inspection earlier this morning.

McMurray sits 17th in the standings and sits 24 points out of 10th-place, which is currently occupied by Tony Stewart. He has yet to win this season but has logged back-to-back Top-10 runs at Kentucky (second) and Daytona (seventh) and is looking to make a late charge into NASCAR’s post-season.

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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