NASCAR: Keselowski leads 1st Nationwide practice at the Glen

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Driving the same NASCAR Nationwide Series car he’s won three times in already this year, Sprint Cup regular Brad Keselowski posted a lap of 72.123 seconds in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to lead the first NNS practice at Watkins Glen International.

The one-hour, 20-minute session was held up for a little more than half an hour due to a cleanup of dropped fluid from the No. 74 car of Roger Reuse.

Practice resumed under green flag conditions with about 30 minutes to go and stayed green for the remainder despite Matt Kenseth lightly backing into the Turn 7 wall after a spin.

This came after Kenseth lost a significant amount of track time due to issues with the car; Fox Sports reported on its practice telecast that the fuel pump needed to be changed on Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

“I guess it could always be worse,” Kenseth said. “We finally got the motor running right, so we just tried to make some laps there and try to figure out a balance we need to work on for the next practice and then I backed in the wall. Now they’ve got to fix the body…So, a little bit of a frustrating practice but we seem to have some speed.

“Thankfully, they can fix the car – didn’t totally kill it – so hopefully, we’ll get it fixed and get the full hour and a half of next practice and get ready to race tomorrow.”

Despite the incident, Kenseth still posted the fifth-fastest time in the session (72.644) behind Keselowski, Paul Menard (72.531), Marcos Ambrose (72.561), and Kyle Busch (72.629). Six of the Top 7 drivers in the session were Sprint Cup regulars, with Ty Dillon (72.699) being the fastest NNS regular in sixth.

NNS points leader Chase Elliott was eighth on the time charts (73.020). His closest pursuer in the standings, Regan Smith (-2 points behind Elliott), was 12th (120.331).

Fox also reported that rookie James Buescher would get an engine change on his No. 99 RAB Racing Toyota before the second Nationwide practice, which is slated to begin later today at 2:10 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen – Practice 1 Times

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).