NASCAR: Brian Scott leads 1st Nationwide practice at Dover

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Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott led this morning’s opening practice session for the Nationwide Series at Dover International Speedway.

Scott, who finished runner-up to teammate Brendan Gaughan last weekend at Kentucky, turned in a lap of 153.191 mph (23.500 seconds) in the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet.

“The car’s obviously got speed, but we don’t want to be too caught up in trying to tune for the balance because the temperature’s going to come up [and] Sprint Cup cars are going to put more rubber down,” Scott told Fox Sports.

“We had a couple of R&D things we wanted to try…Next practice, we’ll go to work and try to get the corners of the race car balanced just like I want.”

Scott’s RCR teammate, part-time driver Cale Conley, was second-fastest at 152.478 mph. Following him was Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott in third (152.458), while Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Larson (152.400) and Kyle Busch (152.162) completed the Top 5 speeds. Gaughan was sixth on the time sheets (151.815).

“That first session was a little bit of a wash,” said Elliott, who enters this weekend with a 20-point championship lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. “We were really fast here the first session in the spring race and things went downhill, so I think you’ve got to be careful of what you learn.

“There’s no rubber on the race track, so from where it is right now, it’s gonna change a lot. The Cup guys are gonna run, and [our] second practice is gonna be the most important one.”

The Nationwide contingent will have a second, 80-minute practice session later today at 2 p.m. ET.

Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick team up again on NBC’s Indy 500 coverage

Danica Patrick Mike Tirico
Stephen King/IndyCar
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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick will return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500, which will be broadcast Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (green flag at 2:30 p.m.).

Tirico and Patrick, who both joined NBC Sports for its inaugural coverage of the event last year, will reprise their roles as host and studio analyst.

One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico also hosts NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage, Football Night in America and many other premier events, including hosting on-site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year for the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR crossover weekend.

AT THE BRICKYARD: Daily Indy 500 coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN

He again will be joined during prerace, in-race, and postrace coverage by Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005 and also was the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR driver.

They will make their debut together duing practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN.

“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

Said Patrick: “The Indianapolis 500 is an event that transcends mainstream and motorsports which is why it’s so special. We are living during a time that if we can bring people together, we should. Even if it’s not physically. I am honored to be back with the NBC Sports team and Mike Tirico. The memories I have from 15 years at IMS hold such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to make more this year in the booth, or however we are positioned in 2020!”

This will mark NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will take place in August for the first time ever because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.