Sprint Cup practice speeds slower Saturday morning at Chicagoland, Paul Menard tops at 188.772 mph

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JOLIET, Ill. — Paul Menard shot to the top of the speed charts during the first of two practice sessions for the Sprint Cup drivers Saturday morning at Chicagoland Speedway.

Menard covered the 1.5-mile oval with a speed of 188.772 mph, followed by Kasey Kahne (187.780), Kevin Harvick (187.709), Jeff Gordon (187.624) and Carl Edwards (187.370).

Saturday morning’s speeds were significantly slower than Friday’s sole practice session, when Kyle Busch topped the charts at 191.442 mph. A constant rain that began mid-Friday afternoon following the Cup practice and continued overnight washed off all the rubber — and obviously some of Friday’s speed — from the racetrack.

Brian Vickers was sixth-fastest (187.331), followed by Aric Almirola (187.227), Greg Biffle (187.156), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (186.728) and Jimmie Johnson (186.509).

Team Penske’s drivers, who struggled to find in Friday’s sole practice session, continued in their hunt for more mph, with Brad Keselowski managing only the 20th-fastest speed Saturday morning (185.912) and Joey Logano was 25th-fastest (185.325).

One other practice session will be held later this afternoon at 2:00 pm ET.

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”