NASCAR: Hornish, Justin Marks top Nationwide practice at Mid-Ohio

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A pair of part-timers, Sam Hornish Jr. (pictured) and Justin Marks, led today’s practice sessions for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Hornish, the former Indianapolis 500 champion that’s making his seventh NNS start of the year in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, led the way in first practice with a lap of 95.245 mph around the tough Mid-Ohio circuit. Regan Smith was second-quickest behind him at 94.609 mph in his No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

Roush Fenway Racing rookie Chris Buescher was third-quickest, followed by fourth-place Alex Tagliani in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford that won this race last year with A.J. Allmendinger. Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott completed the Top 5.

But in Practice 2, Marks was able to put down a last-minute lap of 95.187 mph to knock Chris Buescher (95.182) from the top spot. Marks is making his second start of the season for Turner Scott Motorsports after finishing 24th earlier this year at Road America due to an ill-fated fuel gamble.

Hornish’s lap of 94.798 mph in this session was good enough for P3, while Smith fell in behind Hornish again in fourth. Road America winner Brendan Gaughan was fifth.

Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott was 11th in Practice 1, and then ninth in Practice 2. Elliott leads Smith by 12 points going into Saturday’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 (2:45 p.m. ET), which will be preceded by qualifying that morning (9:40 a.m. ET).

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio – Practice 1 Times

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio – Practice 2 Times

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images
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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.