Harvick, Keselowski fastest in second Cup practice at PIR

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Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski continued to be practically joined at the hip, finishing 1-2 in Saturday morning’s second of three weekend Sprint Cup practices at Phoenix International Raceway.

In Friday’s first practice session, Harvick was fastest and Keselowski was third-fastest.

In qualifying Friday afternoon, Keselowski earned the outside pole, while Harvick was third.

And in Saturday’s second practice, Harvick and Keselowski were the only two drivers to surpass 138 mph around the one-mile track.

Talk about close: Harvick was just .016 of a second faster than Keselowski, the former at 138.403 mph, the latter at 138.387 mph.

As for the other six Chasers, Jeff Gordon was sixth-fastest (137.336 mph), Matt Kenseth was 10th (137.221), current Sprint Cup points leader Joey Logano was 12th (137.028), Sunday’s pole sitter Denny Hamlin was 20th (136.737) and Ryan Newman was 25th (136.364).

Carl Edwards continued to hunt for speed, being the slowest Chaser, clocking in at 29th-fastest of the 41 cars that took to the track. Edwards’ best lap was 135.967 mph.

As for other drivers:

Kurt Busch didn’t let Friday’s news about his alleged involvement in a domestic abuse case affect him behind the wheel, recording the third-fastest speed in Saturday’s practice at 137.762 mph.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth-fastest (137.588), followed by Tony Stewart (137.336), Kyle Larson was seventh (137.295), followed by Kyle Busch (137.253), Casey Mears (137.226), Paul Menard was 11th (137.044), Martin Truex Jr. was 13th (137.018), followed by Clint Bowyer (136.877), Kasey Kahne (136.789), AJ Allmendinger (136.752) and Texas winner Jimmie Johnson was 19th-fastest (136.742).

The third and final session – Happy Hour – takes place from 2:30 to 3:20 pm ET/12:30 to 1:20 pm MT.

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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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