Brian Scott leads five Sprint Cup regulars in first Nationwide Series practice at Charlotte

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Brian Scott paced the field in the first of two NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Scott’s best lap of 178.684 mph just barely topped the next five fastest best laps, all set by Sprint Cup regulars. Kyle Busch was second-fastest (178.524 mph), followed by Matt Kenseth (178.241), Brad Keselowski (178.183), Kevin Harvick (177.725) and Kyle Larson (177.672).

NNS points leader Chase Elliott was seventh-fastest at 177.526 mph, followed by Regan Smith (177.160), Ty Dillon (176.505) and Elliott Sadler (176.373).

A total of 40 drivers took part in the one-hour practice. The second practice session, scheduled for 80 minutes, will run from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. ET.

There are no on-track activities Friday at CMS. Qualifying for Saturday’s NNS race will take place earlier that day at 10:40 a.m. ET, with the History 300 event slated to take the green flag at 2:45 p.m. ET.

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Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Photo: IndyCar
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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.