Dylan Kwasniewski has had some rough times of late in his rookie season in the Nationwide Series, but not in Saturday’s final practice round for Sunday’s Get to Know Newton 250 at Iowa Speedway.
The Las Vegas native covered the .875-mile track with a best speed of 135.077 mph, coming on the next-to-last of 46 laps he attempted in what was the weekend’s fourth and final practice for Sunday’s main event.
Ty Dillon was second-fast at 134.088 mph, followed by Austin Theriault (133.764 mph), Trevor Bayne (133.713) and Chad Boat (133.480).
Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Chase Pistone (133.254), Brian Scott (132.872), James Buescher (132.648), Ryan Reed (132.632) and Ryan Sieg.
Eleventh through 20th were Regan Smith (132.470), Dakoda Armstrong (132.403), Sam Hornish Jr. (132.236), Cale Conley (132.225), Michael McDowell (132.148), Elliott Sadler in 16th (132.109), Chris Buescher (132.098), Ryan Gifford in 18th (132.037), Landon Cassill (131.871) and Ryan Blaney (131.667).
One driver was conspicuous by his absence for not taking part in the final practice: Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott.
The 18-year-old Elliott had a good excuse: he was back in his suburban Atlanta home, preparing for his high school graduation.
Elliott is expected to be back in time later Saturday for qualifying, which is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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