Jimmie Johnson fastest in final Texas Sprint Cup practice

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Reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson led the way in final practice for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 193.791 mph in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Johnson also claimed the fastest 10-lap average in “Happy Hour” with a run of 188.771 mph over his first 10 laps.

The three-time Texas race winner was followed by Chase driver Ryan Newman in second (193.771), Paul Menard in third (193.597), another Chase driver in Joey Logano (193.396), and last week’s Martinsville winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (192.954).

Two more Chasers were among the Top 10, as Carl Edwards was eighth (192.575) and Sunday’s polesitter, Matt Kenseth, was 10th (191.714).

“We’ve gotta keep working on it,” Edwards told Fox Sports. “We did try a lot of stuff. I’m really proud of my guys – they’re able to make it through all sorts of different things. We’ve just gotta be able to make the car balanced in the spots it needs to be.

“…We have a ton of speed. I can go and lay down a super-fast lap. But we’ve just got to keep working on the long runs. That’s what this race is gonna be about tomorrow.”

Kenseth was also searching for an ideal situation with his own car, which he called “kind of a work in progress.”

“We’re not where we need to be for tomorrow, but I feel like we got through a lot of stuff and have a lot of stuff to look at tonight,” he told Fox.

As for the other Chasers: Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick ended the session with the 11th and 12th-fastest laps respectively, while Brad Keselowski was 14th. Rounding out the Eliminator 8 was Chase Grid leader Jeff Gordon in 24th.

The green flag for Sunday’s 334-lap event is slated to fall shortly after 3 p.m. ET.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES at Texas – Final Practice Times

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.