Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick out-hustled a pair of drivers from the surging Richard Childress Racing camp in the final practice session for tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway.
Harvick, making his eighth Nationwide start of the year for JR Motorsports, posted a lap of 176.910 miles per hour in the No. 5 Chevrolet after running seventh in last night’s Nationwide practice.
Second was RCR rookie Ty Dillon with his lap of 176.667 mph in the No. 3 Chevy and in third was teammate/Cup driver Paul Menard (176.580). Menard won his most recent Nationwide start two weeks ago at Michigan.
Two Roush Fenway Racing competitors, Trevor Bayne (175.896) and rookie Ryan Reed (175.735), were fourth and fifth this morning respectively.
Brad Keselowski, Road America winner Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler completed the Top 10. Kyle Busch, who led the aforementioned practice last night, was 11th-fastest this morning, while current series points leader Regan Smith was 13th.
Qualifying will take place at 3:40 p.m. ET, followed by the 300-mile main event tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Racing is an inherently dangerous sport.
The Racing Safety United (RSU) alliance aims to reduce some of that risk with the formation of a multi-discipline advocacy group that includes all major stakeholders of the sport: sanctioning bodies, drivers, track owners and equipment manufacturers – just to name a few of the many businesses that impact a driver’s welfare once they strap into the seat of a racecar.
Originally spearheaded by sports car driver RJ Valentine, the alliance initially intends to focus on track safety. Because expenses can be razor thin for short tracks, a financial aid program is in the works to help with safety upgrades.
“As a racer, I’ve witnessed a lot of horrible crashes and it always astounds me that, for the most part, the motorsports community continues to accept it, including drivers,” Valentine said in a press release. “Because safety improvement adoption is slow, I realized we need support from constituents in all sectors of motorsports to make any real changes happen.
“Initially, track safety is one of RSU’s top priorities, mainly because it receives the least amount of attention. However, we intend to address all safety areas from helmets to driver education.”
RSU’s first official meeting is scheduled on December 6th during the PRI Show to discuss and prioritize safety initiatives.
The RSU is currently made up of 30 members including former NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, NHRA team owner Don Schumacher, Flying Lizard owner Darren Law, Randy Lajoie – owner of The Joie of Seating, sportscar driver Andrew Pilgrim and journalist Dick Berggren.
More information can be found on the RSU site.