German Quiroga fastest in final Truck practice at Texas

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German Quiroga shot to the top of the speed chart in Thursday’s final practice for Friday’s WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Quiroga made 29 laps around the fast 1.5-mile track, but it was his second lap that set the pace at 176.476 mph.

Ryan Blaney was second-fastest at 175.798 mph, followed by Matt Crafton (175.747).

Johnny Sauter, who was fastest in the first practice earlier in the afternoon, was fourth-fastest in the final session at 175.490 mph.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who was second-fastest in the earlier session, was fifth-fastest in the final session at 174.616 mph.

Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Joe Nemechek (174.562), John Wes Townley (174.543), Brennan Newberry (174.441), Ron Hornaday Jr. (174.374) and rookie Ben Kennedy (174.368).

A total of 26 drivers took part in the final practice, with Norm Benning clocking the slowest speed at 160.480 mph.

Qualifying begins at 5:10 pm ET on Friday afternoon, with the green flag for the race slated to drop at 9 pm ET.

On Saturday, the Verizon IndyCar Series takes over the track for the Firestone 600, which begins at 8:45 pm ET.

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Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

Doug Mathews/IndyCar
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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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