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.