Trevor Bayne tops Sprint Cup final practice at Talladega

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A pair of Fords led the way in final practice for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, as Trevor Bayne followed up leading yesterday’s first Nationwide practice by topping today’s Cup “Happy Hour” with a lap of 199.015 mph.

Following him in second was Carl Edwards, who posted a lap of 198.965 mph – .012 of a second off of Bayne’s best.

Tony Stewart was the fastest Chevrolet driver in the session and posted the third-quickest lap of 198.912 mph. In fourth was the fastest Toyota man in Kyle Busch at 198.516 mph, and Kurt Busch was P5 (198.413) in his Chevy.

The Busch brothers got in extensive work on the 2.66-mile oval during “Happy Hour,” with Kurt logging 29 circuits and Kyle turning in 28.

However, Chevy continues to have the power in numbers, as seven drivers in their ranks situated themselves within the Top 10. Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson rounded out that particular bracket.

Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. – who led this afternoon’s first Cup practice – did not post a lap in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, seemingly content that he’ll have a piece worthy of gaining the pole in tomorrow’s much-anticipated knockout qualifying session.

Perhaps he decided to spend the rest of his Friday at a nearby fishing hole? At least that’s what his brother and Sprint Cup rookie, Ryan, indicated in a tweet after the first session:

Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 is scheduled for tomorrow shortly after 1 p.m. ET.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA – FINAL PRACTICE TIMES

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

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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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.