Ryan Blaney, James Buescher top Thursday’s Nationwide Series practice sessions at Richmond

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Ryan Blaney and James Buescher topped Thursday’s two practice sessions for Friday’s ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Blaney (pictured) paced the field in the first practice session with a top speed of 122.421 mph, followed by Regan Smith (122.388), Trevor Bayne (121.660), Kyle Larson (121.649), Ty Dillon (121.622) and sixth-fastest and current NNS points leader Chase Elliott (121.561).

In the second session, Buescher was a tick slower than what Blaney did in the first session, but still led the field with a top speed of 121.792 mph.

Bayne was second-fastest (121.518) in his 35th and last practice lap. Third through fifth fastest were Chris Buescher (121.365), Ryan Reed (121.212) and Elliott (121.027).

Blaney dropped from his top speed in the first session to 16th-fastest in the second session (119.495).

NNS qualifying will be Friday at 3:10 p.m. ET, with the race itself slated to take the green flag at 7 p.m. ET.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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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.