Kevin Harvick still strong, tops final Sprint Cup practice at Dover

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Pardon me for having a Captain Obvious moment, but Kevin Harvick is definitely looking like the one to beat for tomorrow’s Challenger Round finale at Dover International Speedway.

After leading the first Sprint Cup practice session and qualifying on the pole yesterday, Harvick has ended the lead-up to the AAA 400 by claiming top honors in final practice with a lap of 157.089 mph.

Brad Keselowski’s lap of 156.379 mph was good enough for P2 in the session. He was followed by Jeff Gordon in third at 155.952 mph, Denny Hamlin in fourth at 155.858 mph, and Aric Almirola in fifth at 155.380 mph.

Keselowski has maintained a stout pace through the practices, but noted that it’s been hard to keep up with how the Monster Mile has evolved over the weekend.

“The track just keeps changing drastically,” Keselowski told Fox Sports. “We see that in the pace – about a good half a second faster in this practice than we were the last practice.

“Usually, it’s the opposite here, so I think that’s kind of thrown everyone for a loop.”

Jamie McMurray was the lone non-Chase competitor in the Top 10 speeds for final practice, slotting in seventh (155.273) behind sixth-place Kasey Kahne and ahead of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kyle Busch in eighth, ninth, and 10th respectively.

The other Chasers fared like this: Carl Edwards in 11th, Kurt Busch in 14th, A.J. Allmendinger in 16th, Matt Kenseth in 17th, Joey Logano in 18th, Greg Biffle in 20th, and Ryan Newman in 23rd.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT DOVER – Final Practice

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.