Kevin Harvick fastest in first Sprint Cup practice at Dover

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Seeking to lock himself into the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup this weekend at Dover, Kevin Harvick led today’s first Sprint Cup practice session at the Monster Mile.

Harvick topped the 50-minute run with a lap of 163.852 mph in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

He enters this weekend at 41 points over the Top 12 cutoff and only needs a finish of 34th or better in Sunday’s AAA 400 to advance.

Eight of the Top 10 speeds in the first Cup practice were posted by Chase contenders. Brad Keselowski, already in the Contender Round after his win at Chicagoland, was second-quickest (163.726).

Jeff Gordon (seventh, +21 points over the cutoff) was third-fastest at 163.562 mph. One of the two non-Chase drivers in the Top 10, Marcos Ambrose (163.436) was fourth, and nine-time Dover race winner Jimmie Johnson (163.369) was fifth.

Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Matt Kenseth completed the Top 10. Logano is also in the Contender Round thanks to last weekend’s win at New Hampshire, while Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Kenseth are all on the bubble this weekend in Delaware.

Kenseth is only eight points up, while Hamlin (-6 points) and Kurt Busch (-8 points) are both on the outside looking in.

The session was slowed by a red flag involving the clean-up of fluid on the track that reportedly came from Landon Cassill’s car. The green came back out with about 20 minutes remaining.

Cup qualifying for Sunday’s race will take place later this afternoon at 3:40 p.m. ET.

Juncos Racing to field single car entry in Indy 500

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Part-time NTT IndyCar Series entrant Juncos Racing will announce their attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 within the next few weeks, according to RACER.

The team, which made its Indy 500 debut in 2017, ran 12 of the 17 IndyCar Series races last season, but has only made a start in one of the four events so far in 2019, finishing 18th in the inaugural running of the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Though no driver has yet to be announced for the single-car entry, Kaiser is expected to be the leading candidate for the ride. The 23-year-old Californian has raced for the team since 2014, where he won the 2017 Indy Lights championship.

One of the top teams in the Road to Indy ladder system, Juncos Racing has over 50 wins between Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 competition. The team’s most recent victory came in the second Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg this year with Rinus VeeKay behind the wheel.

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