NASCAR: Ryan Blaney tops lone Nationwide practice at Kansas

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A rainy morning at Kansas Speedway scratched what was to be the first of two scheduled NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions ahead of Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300.

Instead, the NNS contingent only had one, 80-minute session this afternoon on the 1.5-mile oval to prepare for their main event.

Ryan Blaney, who has done well this year in a limited Nationwide Series role for Team Penske while running full-time in the Camping World Truck Series, was fastest in the Penske No. 22 at 180.048 mph.

Blaney will make two more starts for Penske in the Nationwide Series this season at Charlotte and Texas in the No. 12 car.

But for this weekend, he’ll seek to help the No. 22 team retain its lead in the owner’s championship – currently at 32 points over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 team with five races left in 2014.

“We just need to go out now and perform the rest of the year and be a part of another championship effort,” Blaney said of that effort earlier in the week.

“That’s important to [team owner] Roger [Penske], to the guys on the team, to [sponsors] Discount Tire and Hertz, and to the guys in the shop who build these cars. Over these next five races, that is the team’s focus.”

Behind him was Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher with the second-fastest lap at 179.880 mph. Richard Childress Racing rookie Ty Dillon was third-fastest (179.456), with last week’s NNS winner Kyle Busch (179.235) and Trevor Bayne (179.122) completing the Top 5 speeds.

The practice had one major incident involving Corey Lajoie, who got loose going through Turn 1 and 2 and slapped the wall in the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford. The resulting right-side damage was enough to cause his team to call for a backup car.

Busch, Tanner Berryhill, and Dakoda Armstrong also spun, with said spins occurring both unassisted and in the Turn 2 vicinity (Armstrong lost control of his car on the apron). However, none of the three found the wall.

NNS qualifying will take place tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. ET, followed by the big show shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Kansas – Friday Practice Times

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.