Kyle Busch fastest in first Nationwide practice at Kentucky

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Just over an hour after qualifying No. 1 for Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Kyle Busch recorded the fastest lap during the weekend’s first Nationwide Series practice session at Kentucky Speedway.

Busch covered the 1.5-mile tri-oval at a speed of 174.729 mph, followed by Ryan Blaney (174.498 mph), Brian Scott (174.441), Paul Menard (174.419) and Corey Lajoie (174.329).

Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Kyle Larson (174.025 mph), Kevin Harvick (174.003), Ty Dillon (173.924), Road America winner Brendan Gaughan (173.907) and Brad Keselowski (173.455).

Chase Elliott was 11th-fastest (173.433 mph), followed by Elliott Sadler (173.210), Matt Kenseth (172.961), Mike Bliss (172.667), Ryan Reed (172.590), Regan Smith (172.397), Trevor Bayne (172.210), Ryan Sieg (171.914), Chris Buescher (171.827) and Dylan Kwasniewski (171.603).

A total of 44 drivers took to the track.

The second NNS practice will be held Friday morning at 9 am ET, with qualifying set for later in the afternoon at 3:40 pm ET. The race, the John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300, goes off Friday evening at 7:30 pm ET.

Busch, Keselowski and Joe Nemechek are attempting to race in all three of this weekend’s events at Kentucky Speedway: Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series.

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Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.