Chris Buescher leads Nationwide “Happy Hour” at Dover

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Nationwide Series rookie Chris Buescher jumped to the top of the time sheets during the final Nationwide practice session for tomorrow’s 200-lap event.

Buescher, who won earlier this year on the road course at Mid-Ohio, went P1 with a lap of 154.825 mph in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang.

That was enough to eclipse last week’s Nationwide winner at Kentucky, Brendan Gaughan, and his best lap of 153.991 mph in the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“Our race runs are really good,” Buescher told ESPN. “I feel like we’re holding our speed late into a run, so I’m pretty proud of these guys. We’ve been working hard at this thing and making progress every week.

“We’re sitting seventh in the standings, and that’s a big plus for us. So, we’re making progress and enjoying it.”

Sprint Cup regular Aric Almirola was third-quickest at 152.996 mph. One day before he tries to keep his championship hopes alive in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he will be making his second Nationwide start of the season in the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford on Saturday; Almirola finished 14th in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland two weekends ago.

Richard Childress Racing part-time Cale Conley carried over his solid pace from first practice to wind up fourth in this session at 152.568 mph. Completing the Top 5 was Buescher’s teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, Trevor Bayne (152.517).

Qualifying will take place tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 p.m. ET, followed by their main event at 3:30 p.m. ET.