Matt Kenseth fastest in Saturday AM Cup practice at Dover

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One of the drivers on the Chase bubble jumped to the top of the speed charts in this morning’s Sprint Cup practice session at Dover International Speedway.

Matt Kenseth, who’s tied for eighth on the Chase Grid at just eight points over the Top 12 cutoff, turned 45 laps and set the fastest lap at 155.649 mph in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

The 2003 Cup champion has won twice at Dover in his career and will start 14th in Sunday’s AAA 400, the final race in the Challenger Round.

In the most recent Cup race at Dover back in June, he finished third behind winner Jimmie Johnson and runner-up Brad Keselowski.

Kenseth was one of four Chasers in the Top 5 during this morning’s session. Fellow bubble inhabitants A.J. Allmendinger (10th on Chase Grid, +7 points), Denny Hamlin (13th, -6 points), and Kasey Kahne (11th, +6 points) were second, third and fifth-fastest respectively. Non-Chase competitor Clint Bowyer was fourth.

Jamie McMurray and another group of four Chasers – pole sitter Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chicagoland winner Keselowski, and Greg Biffle – completed Positions 6-10.

As for where the other Chasers ended up in the session, they go as follows: Carl Edwards in 11th, Johnson in 13th, Jeff Gordon in 14th, Ryan Newman in 15th, Kyle Busch in 16th, Aric Almirola in 18th, New Hampshire winner Joey Logano in 24th, and Kurt Busch in 27th.

Final practice for the Cup series will take place later this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover – Saturday Morning Practice Times

F1: Lewis Hamilton qualifies No. 1 for U.S. Grand Prix, on verge of winning 5th title

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Lewis Hamilton took a big step toward earning his fifth Formula One championship on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 for Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton and his Mercedes have won five of the previous six U.S. Grand Prix’s held at COTA, including the last four races there.

The Great Britain native comes into Sunday’s race leading the F1 point standings and is seeking to tie Juan Manuel Fangio for second-most F1 career championships. Michael Schumacher has the most with seven crowns.

Sebastian Vettel is Hamilton’s sole remaining challenger for the title, trailing Hamilton by 67 points with four races to go, including Sunday’s race.

Vettel must win Sunday’s race or finish within seven points of Hamilton to prevent the latter from winning the title and pushing a possible clinching scenario to next week in Mexico.

Vettel qualified second Saturday, but due to a red-flag three-position grid penalty sustained during Friday’s morning practice, will start fifth on Sunday’s grid.

As a result of Vettel’s penalty, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Vallteri Bottas, will start third, while Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Here’s how qualifying played out:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.130 1:33.480 1:32.237 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.569 1:33.079 1:32.298 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.703 1:32.884 1:32.307 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.518 1:33.702 1:32.616 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.755 1:34.185 1:33.494 14
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.876 1:34.522 1:34.145 18
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.932 1:34.564 1:34.215 18
8 8 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:34.892 1:34.419 1:34.250 17
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.069 1:34.255 1:34.420 17
10 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.193 1:34.525 1:34.594 17
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:34.891 1:34.566 12
12 20 KevinMagnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.972 1:34.732 12
13 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:34.850 DNS 13
14 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.206 DNS 13
15 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.766 4
16 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.294 6
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.362 6
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.480 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.536 8
20 2 StoffelVandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.735 6

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