Harvick fastest in Saturday AM Cup practice at Phoenix

Leave a comment

Inclement weather is expected for today in and around Phoenix, but the Sprint Cup contingent at Phoenix International Raceway caught a break this morning by getting in their second practice of the weekend.

PIR received rain overnight but early morning track drying was able to get the one-mile oval ready in time for the scheduled 9 a.m. MT start of the session.

Kevin Harvick, who has won two of the last three Sprint Cup events at PIR and will start 13th in Sunday’s main event, was fastest in the 50-minute run with a lap of 26.133 seconds in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s tandem of Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson posted identical hot laps of 26.310 seconds behind Harvick, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. (26.342) and pole sitter Brad Keselowski (26.347) were fourth and fifth-fastest respectively.

Harvick also had the fastest 5 and 10-lap averages in this practice as well, which should bode well for him tomorrow.

Whether the wet stuff can stay away from PIR for the remainder of today’s activity remains to be seen. The Nationwide Series is set to qualify shortly for their 200-lap event later this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. ET. In between is Sprint Cup “Happy Hour” final practice at 2 p.m. ET.

During this morning’s broadcast, Fox Sports relayed word from NASCAR that the 2 p.m. ET Cup practice may be pushed up by 15 minutes to avoid the possible rain.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix has the chance of rain in the Phoenix region today at “near 100 percent” and lists the possibility of up to a half-inch of rainfall.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.